Monday, February 20, 2006

Torture and Murder of French Jew by Muslim Gang--Not Anti-Semitic

The Observer, sister paper to the Guardian, reports the following story:
Torturers' Iraq link

Criminals who tortured and killed a young hostage, keeping him naked and hooded and burning him repeatedly before throwing him from a train, were inspired by images from Iraq, according to a French prosecutor.
If you read the entire article, some facts are missing--

o The victim's name (Ilan Halimi)
o The fact that the victim was Jewish
o The fact that the missing gangleader is Moslem
o The possibility that when a Moslem kills a Jew there may be anti-Semitism

Though the report does give the name of the ringleader, Youssef Fofana, that may be because of how stupid it would appear to report that the police are looking for the ringleader and then not report on who the police are looking for.

Or maybe not.

The Times--another British newspaper--gives some of the information hidden by the Observer, yet still manages to skirt around the issue:
Photofit leads to capture of Paris 'honeytrap' gang

Paris police have arrested a dozen people suspected of kidnapping and torturing a young man to death after a blonde woman used to bait their honeytrap gave herself up.
They reveal the name of the victim and even go so far as to admit that the Jewish community is concerned by the fact that 4 other Jews were targeted in botched kidnapping attempts. But according to The Times the key to the gang is not that the victim was horribly tortured, but that it is a "honeytrap" gang that uses women to lure the victim--and the model was not Iraq, but a 1995 movie called L'Appât (The Bait).

At least Haaretz puts the pieces together. It reports that there is disagreement between the family and the authorities on whether there was anti-Semitism:
"We think there is anti-Semitism in this affair," Rafi Halimi, Ilan's uncle, told the press.

"First, because the killers tried to kidnap at least two other Jews, and second, because of what they said on the phone," Rafi Halimi added. "When we said we didn't have 500,000 euros to give them they told us to go to the synagogue and get it," Rafi said. "They also recited verses from the Koran."

But the Paris public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, told Parisian Jewish radio on Thursday that "no element of the current investigation could link this murder to an anti-Semitic declaration or action." The umbrella group of French Jewish secular organizations, CRIF, issued a statement Friday calling on the Jewish community "to keep calm, cautious and wait for developments in the investigation."
Apparently the fact that 4 other Jews were targeted is not enough of a hint.

Why is it that Europe can have laws that outlaw denial of the Holocaust, but when Moslems beat up, torture, and kill Jews, anti-Semitism is the evil that dare not speak its name?

For more on the media in Great Britain, see Great Britain Keeps a Stiff Bloody Lip

Update: Adloyada notes that:

It's interesting to compare the Observer's report to the European Jewish Press report, which links Halimi's treatment more explicitly to the Abu Ghraib tortures

According to the prosecutor, however, Halimi was tortured in scenes
reminiscent of the abuse of prisoners at Baghdad’s notorious Abu Ghraib jail.

Held prisoner in a Bagneux apartment, "naked, with his face covered," he was abused in "a repetition of scenes seen elsewhere", the prosecutor said.

Update: There is more in another Haaretz article here.

Update: At The Corner, Cliff May quotes from an article by Nidra Pollers online at the Wall Street Journal (registration required):

“The highest echelons of the French government are now preoccupied with the murder of Ilan Halimi. … Once again, as in the suburban riots of 2005, the country is forced to come face to face with the criminalized, alienated and racist Muslim youth and their adult enablers in its midst. …

“The murder of Ilan Halimi invites comparison with the November 2003 killing of a Jewish disc jockey, Sébastien Selam. His Muslim neighbor, Adel, slit his throat, nearly decapitating him, and gouged out his eyes with a carving fork in his building's underground parking garage. Adel came upstairs with bloodied hands and told his mother, "I killed my Jew, I will go to paradise." …

BIG UPDATE (3/3/06):
(This was going to be a separate post, but there are other blogs already covering this)

Last week France finally was openly and freely admitting that the brutal torture of Ilan Halimi which led to his death was motivated by anti-Semitism. The French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy said the members of the gang "were convinced that 'Jews have money'... That's called anti-Semitism by conflation." Furthermore:
Sarkozy revealed that some suspects possessed extreme Islamic and pro-Palestinian literature and documents. What they confessed to the police further confirmed the apprehension that Halimi was subjected to barbaric abuse because he was a Jew.
Caroline Glick is more specific on the nature of the documents that were found:
It appears that Ilan Halimi's murderers had some connection to Hamas. Tuesday, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said that police found propaganda published by the Palestinian Charity Committee or the CBSP at the home of one of the suspects. The European Jewish Press reported this week that Israel has alleged that the organization is a front group for Palestinian terrorists and that in August 2003 the US government froze the organization's US bank accounts, accusing it of links with Hamas.
Glick is relentless in her critcism of how the Israeli government responded to the murder and to the Jewish community in France:

o No Israeli official condemned his murder.

o No Israeli official demanded French authorities investigate why the police were so slow to take anti-Semitism into account while Halimi was held captive

o No Israeli official flew to Paris to participate in Ilan's funeral

o The Foreign Ministry's Web site has no mention of Halimi's murder.

o The Israeli Embassy in Paris did not publicly express its condolences to the Halimi family until February 23--10 days after Ilan was found.

o The French press has noted that the Israeli media has not given the story prominent coverage.

o Halimi's murder has not appeared on the front pages of the papers or at the top of the television or radio broadcasts.

While Glick gives the French government credit for pursuing the murderers once they finally admitted the gang's anti-Jewish motivation, she not only faults the Israeli government but singles out Kadima:

Israel's societal meekness accords well with Kadima's ideology. Its creed was best expressed by Foreign Minister, Justice Minister and Immigration Minister Tzipi Livni last month at the Herzliya Conference and is best characterized as "conditional Zionism." In her speech, Livni explained that Israel's international legitimacy is conditional. Unless a Palestinian state is established in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, she warned, Israel will lose its legitimacy as a Jewish state.

So for Livni, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Shimon Peres and the rest of the Kadima gang, unlike every other people in the world, the Jewish people does not have an inherent, natural right to exist as a free, sovereign and independent people in its homeland. For Kadima, the Jewish people's right to self-determination in our land years is conditional on our enemies' acceptance of our right to be here.

I thought that part of the Zionist ideal is that besides being a homeland and destination for Jews, Israel is here to help defend and look out for Jews around world.

Crossposted at Israpundit

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