photo credit: "Alain Azria ROSENPRESS AGENCY"
On January 13th, I ran the first in the series, "I killed my Jew," by the extraordinary journalist Nidra Poller, an expat living in Paris for decades.
Atlas readers are familiar with Sébastien Selam, a popular disc jockey at a hot Parisian night club called Queen. The young man known as DJ Lam C (a reverse play on his surname) left the apartment he shared with his parents in a modest building in of Paris’ 10th arrondissement near la Place Colonel Fabien, heading to work as usual. In the underground parking lot, a Muslim neighbor slit Selam’s throat twice, according to the Rosenpress interview. His face was completely mutilated with a carving fork. Even his eyes were gouged out.
There has been some coverage in France, as usual superficial and mediocre. Poller returns to Atlas to bring us part II in this lurid, grotesque expression of islamic Jew hatred an the shocking miscarriage/lack of justice in this horrid, horrid case.
Right of Metzker is Juliette Selam, Sébastien's mother, and to her right his brother Photo: Alain Azria
“I killed my Jew. “ Will the murderer of Sébastien Selam ever be tried?
January 21, 2010
Based on the opinions of a string of court-appointed psychiatric experts, the appeals court declared Adel Amastaibou unfit to stand trial for the murder of Sébastien Selam. The court’s benevolent indulgence extended beyond the killer’s inability to resist murderous impulses induced by paranoid schizophrenic hallucinations to include his inability to understand the negative psychological effects of a regular intake of large quantities of cannabis and alcohol. A danger to himself and to society. One would suppose that the court would take the measure of its own conclusion of extreme irresponsibility and lock up the criminally insane Amastaibou for life. On the contrary, as we saw in Part 1, the court is concerned that the imposition of minimum constraints might be incompatible with the—unspecified-- treatment that will be prescribed. Where does Amastaibou’s common criminal activity fit into the picture? Drug dealing, purse snatching, knife fighting, fabrication of fire bombs… were these infractions committed during intervals of lucidity? When he attacked a rabbi, was he acting as an ordinary thug or a hallucinating schizophrenic?
The ghastly murder and mutilation of Sébastien Selam was committed in the midst of the worst wave of antisemitic attacks since WW2. And, it should be noted, in the month of Ramadan. Psychiatric expertise, in Amastaibou’s case, “purified murderous Jew hatred into psychotic fantasies detached from reality. But the experts are not alone. Overwhelming pressure to deny the antisemitic motive was immediately exerted from all sides. The media, law enforcement, government officials, and Jewish organizations concurred in the cover up. The grieving Selam family was slyly accused of having somehow participated in its own misfortune or suspected of trying to attract sympathy by framing a vulgar criminal act in a noble antisemitic narrative. Several lawyers in succession failed to prod law enforcement and the courts into seriously investigating the case. Their petitions fell into a black hole at the Palais de Justice. By the time Sébastien’s widowed mother Juliette Selam discovered that the “investigating” magistrate had closed the case without bringing charges against Adel Amastaibou, it was too late to lodge an appeal.
When Maître Axel Metzker took over as counsel for the Selam family he found proof that the registered letter informing them that the case was closed had never been delivered. Marked “unknown at this address,” it lay in a pile of neglected mail at the post office. Based on this proof, he pleaded successfully to reopen the case and allow his clients to appeal. This culminated in the January 5th verdict, which is now appealed to France’s highest court.
In January 2006--two years after the murder of Sébastien Selam-- Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by the self-styled Gang of Barbarians. Held hostage for 3 weeks in what I described as a homemade death camp, Ilan was tormented, starved, humiliated, frozen, tortured while French police looked somewhere, anywhere, and nowhere. Previous denial of the motivation for the murder of Sébastien Selam reinforced denial of the antisemitic motives of the Gang of Barbarians. The police followed an outdated playbook, ignored clues, misread every word and gesture of the barbarians, and closed their minds to the reasoning of Ilan’s mother, Ruth Halimi, who begged them to recognize that her son’s jailers wanted to kill him because he is Jewish. Michaël Douiëb, another Jewish victim kidnapped by the same gang one week before Ilan, was able to escape because neighbors heard his screams and called the police. But the precious information he provided, which travelled at a snail’s pace to the neighboring precinct where Ilan was in fact held, was languidly underexploited.
On February 13th Youssouf Fofana, the Brain of the Barbarians, took an emaciated battered Ilan to Ste. Geneviève des Bois, stabbed him in the throat, sprinkled him with inflammable liquid, set him afire, and left him to die by the railroad tracks. Three years later Fofana--along with 27 accessories and accomplices-- was tried behind closed doors in juvenile court and was sentenced to “life” in prison, with no possibility of parole in the first 22 years.
We cannot prove that information given to the police by Michaël Douïeb could have been used to locate Ilan and save his life. The fact is it wasn’t, it didn’t, and Ilan was not rescued. But, according to Douiëb’s lawyer Maître Muriel Melki Ouaknine, her client’s testimony at the Gang of Barbarians trial was not exploited either. The thugs screamed antisemitic insults as they bashed Douiëb’s skull. Doctors counted 96 blows! Who were these thugs? Fofana and his lieutenants, and an unidentified number of the gang members who went on to participate in the Halimi torture-murder. But only Fofana was convicted of aggravating circumstances of antisemitism.
Lawyers for the 27 accomplices went beyond the call of duty to make their clients a cause célèbre, helped along by sympathetic media and the usual coterie of leftist intellectuals that relayed the claim that their clients were not antisemitic, the crime was not antisemitic, the banlieue is not rife with antisemitism. Since the press had been barred from the courtroom and the three-year investigation was covered by a gag rule, ordinary citizens had no way of judging the facts, but the controversy was front and center in all the media during the traditionally quiet summer vacation period. It was the defense lawyers’ word against the Jewish word! Jewish organizations, lawyers, and individuals were accused of grappling for special privileges as prime rate victims, interfering with the judicial process, manipulating government officials, and seeking vengeance instead of justice.
Adel Amastaibou is left in limbo: excused from responsibility for his acts on the grounds of insanity but not locked up tightly to protect society from future outbursts of murderous folly. Fofana is not clinically insane but he was portrayed as a madman whose outrageous behavior before, during, and after the murder was dismissed as a sort of criminal clown act. Amastaibou’s psychosis and Fofana’s evil ways are disconnected from the social, political, ideological, and religious context in which they developed. One is schizophrenic, the other is a wild delinquent, and they both committed crimes of exceptional cruelty against Jewish victims. Crimes that go beyond murder.
In a letter addressed to Interior Minister Michèle Alliot Marie on January 12, 2010, three officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center-Europe—Dr. Shimon Samuels, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Rabbi Abraham Cooper—ask why the court did not give due consideration to Adel Amastaibou’s “Islamist radicalization.” They cite numerous examples: repeated production of Molotov cocktails, the “ever-present” Ousama bin Laden t-shirt, the strong probability that he is the person who ripped the mezuzah off the Selam’s doorpost, painted swastikas in their hallway, and left a beheaded chicken on their doormat. “Madame Minister, these are only acts of insanity if anti-Semitism is, itself, a mental illness.”
In December 2002 Amastaibou was convicted of antisemitic insults for threatening to unleash his German shepherd on a rabbi and snarling: “Dirty hook-nosed Jew, look at this (dog], does it remind you of something? I’m going to send you to Auschwitz. You killed Palestinians this morning.”
Was he hallucinating or just doing his thing, like so many other Muslim youths who attack rabbis, yeshiva students, young girls with Star of David necklaces, schoolboys with kippas? Were the men who beat Rudy Haddad into a coma in the summer of 2008 schizophrenic? How about the ones who almost killed Jonathan Guez in January 2009? The punk jihadi slashed his neck, coming within a millimeter of the carotid, and then bashed his head. Hundreds of thugs attacked Jews in the name of Hamas-controlled Gaza during the Cast Lead operation. No one, as far as the public knows, has been arrested and punished. We are told that Amastaibou, propelled by psychotic hallucinations, unleashed murderous fury on Sébastien Selam, the Jew. And Fofana was a real nasty piece of work. His accomplices, according to their lawyers, were misguided youths harboring no ill feelings toward Jews. Maître Ouaknine Melki told me that most of them were either born Muslim or converted to Islam.
Did the paranoid schizophrenic Amastaibou have accomplices? Maître Metzker is convinced that he did not act alone. Investigation of the crime scene, he asserts, was cursory, negligent, incomplete. DNA samples were not analyzed Amastaibou’s brother Fouad was briefly detained for interrogation in 2006 and released without charges despite the fact that he admits he destroyed the SIM card of his brother’s—stolen-- cell phone and wiped off the blood. He claims he was afraid his brother would be incriminated… for stealing the phone. Fouad’s story of what happened that night is recorded in the January 5th judgment:
His mother was distraught. She said Adel was “not well.” Fouad went downstairs and checked with Lakdar Layadi. Then went back upstairs to find his brother covered in blood, saying he had killed Sébastien Selam. Fouad went down to the underground parking garage and “saw that what his brother had said was true.” He went outside to get a breath of fresh air and went back upstairs without notifying anyone “for fear of being accused of non-assistance to a person in danger.” Maître Metzker believes the killer’s brother was present and perhaps participated in the crime. It is possible, he says, that other members of Amastaibou’s gang of delinquents were directly or indirectly involved. The failure to investigate, evaluate, situate and expose the true nature of these crimes is deliberate, not accidental. It rides on an underlying unspeakable accounting: only two French Jews were barbarically murdered by Muslims in France at the dawn of the 21st century. The murders, isolated from their context, are used to cover up the cauldron of danger churning under the surface of our society. Instead of broadcasting the appropriate warning-- an incident can, in an instant, unleash that fury on a massive scale—our society fosters dangerous currents and prepares its own declaration of criminal irresponsibility.
This is not just a Jewish problem. And it is not only a French problem. The same mechanism is at work in the determination to obscure the Islamic motivation of Major Hassan. The cowardly evasion of a French court in a musty Palais de Justice echoes in the Dutch courtroom where Geert Wilders stands trial today and inspires the traitorous plan to give the 9/11 masterminds a civilian trial in Manhattan. The voices that speak to a schizophrenic drug addict in Paris are the same voices that spoke to a Nigerian banker’s son in Yemen.
The grieving mothers, the mourning families, the torn hearts that can never be repaired are not seeking vengeance or vying for prime victim status, they are striving to transform the unbearable helplessness endured by their loved ones into a force that will defend us against those savage hands.
Building where Selam was murdered same photo credit "Alain Azria ROSENPRESS AGENCY"