The “absolute silence” from the government, prosecutors, and the media surrounding the “savage” murder of a 66-year-old Jewish woman by an Islamist migrant in Paris has angered and upset the city’s Jewish community.
The Algemeiner Journalreports the suspected killer, a 27-year-old Malian migrant with convictions for drug-dealing named Kada Traore, broke into an apartment neighbouring Dr. Sarah Halimi’s at 4:25 a.m., causing the terrified residents to take shelter in a closet.
Traore was heard reciting verses from the Quran before jumping a balcony and forcing his way into Dr. Halimi’s apartment, after which, according to the Algemeiner, “he beat the elderly lady savagely, her screams [prompting] neighbours to call the police”.
Three officers reached the apartment at 4:45 a.m. but, hearing Traore shouting “Allahu Akhbar!” and “Shaitan!” (Arabic for ‘Devil’) inside, they held back and called counter-terrorism police for support.
Support arrived 15 minutes later, according to reports, but by this time the pensioner had been thrown from her balcony. Traore managed to reenter the apartment of the victim’s neighbours at this point and resumed his prayers, and was not apprehended until 6:00 a.m.
The response to the murder from the government, prosecutors, and the media has caused much anger and hurt amongst Parisian Jews.
“I have waited seven weeks before I said anything,” commented Dr. Halimi’s brother. “[But] the absolute silence about my sister’s murder has become intolerable.”
Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, a French journalist the Algemeiner describes as an expert on anti-Semitism, even felt compelled to write an open letter addressing new president Emmanuel Macron’s government.
“A 65-yr old Jewish lady MD, during her sleep, is attacked and atrociously tortured for more than one hour,” begins the letter, addressed to interior minister Gerard Collomb.
“She lives in a modest apartment in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, rue Vaucouleurs. The murderer, who reached her apartment through the balcony, attacks with incredible violence, resulting in about twenty fractures all over her face and body.
“He then throws her, dying, out of the window, from the 3rd floor. During all this time, the police (3 men with weapons, present in the building just outside the apartment door) do nothing. The neighbours (several dozen) can hear the victim’s yells: they do nothing either. The French media are alerted. They make no queries and do not report the murder.”
The letter claims that, when “a silent march” was organised for the Sunday following the murder, “Youngsters from the nearby quarters countered it with yells of ‘Mort aux Juifs’ [‘Death to Jews’] or ‘We own Kalashnikovs’.”
“Mr. Minister, you have just taken your position in a country where it is once again possible to murder Jews without eliciting much concern from our fellow Frenchmen and women [and] the men who have been in charge before you, both on the Left and the Right, preferred not to look any further than the end of the broom with which they swept the problem under the carpet.”
The letter concludes by asking: “What do you plan to do, Mr. Minister, about this indifference? To shake us out of this terrifying apathy? It won’t suffice, this time, to break the fire alarms … Or, maybe, you would prefer to be wrong with jihadists rather than right with realists?”
In 2016, some 5,000 French Jews quit France for Israel – a trend which has been accelerating with the growth of radical Islam in the country.