From Ilan to Sarah Halimi: Shameful France

French public intellectual, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, has written an open letter to Gerard Collomb, the new French Minister of the Interior about the stunning silence in the French public sphere about the terrible murder of Sarah Halimi, a doctor, who was tortured and murdered by her Muslim Arab neighbor while three armed policemen stood outside her door waiting for backup. Below is a translation of the text by André Unterberger with some changes by me.

An open letter to Gerard Collomb [1]: from Ilan [0] to Sarah Halimi, a shameful France

Source: ATLANTICO
Mr Minister,

A 65-yr old Jewish lady MD, during her sleep, is attacked and atrociously tortured for more than one hour.  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.

Her name was Sarah … Sarah Halimi.

This atrocious scene did not happen in 1942, before or after the “Rafle du Veld’hiv” [2] but in the night from April 3rd to April 4th, 2017, in a tiny apartment close to the “Bataclan” [3]: Cries of “Allah Akbar” accompanied the scene. The next Sunday, a silent march was organised in the area. Youngsters from the nearby quarters countered it with yells of “Mort aux Juifs” or “We own kalachnikovs”.

The Paris public prosecutor immediately pointed out that one should wait for the result of the enquiry before issuing conclusions about the nature of the crime. Who knows? An elderly Jewish lady savagely massacred by a 27-yr old Islamist with many priors (drug trafficking, assault): this could just be a dispute between neighbours… Never mind that the murderer, Kada Taore, from Mali, insulted the victim on a regular basis, and she had reported to neighbours how frightened she was by him. “We are at war”, Manuel Valls proclaimed [4]: “so that Muslims will not feel ashamed any more and Jews will not be frightened any more.” A smashing success.

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. By the way, 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. None were up to this challenge. Will you be? This Sunday May 21. on I24News [5], Sarah Halimi’s brother said with extraordinary dignity; “I have waited 7 weeks before I said anything. The absolute silence about my sister’s assassination has become intolerable.”

A human interest story? Not even. In the advanced decadence that reigns today in the country of Dieudonné [6], for whom “the Jews are dogs” (and people laugh hysterically), it seems that a run over dog deserves more attention than a murdered Jewish woman.

In your soul and conscience, I know, M. le ministre, that you share my analysis. I remember when we went together to Rumania in the early ’90s, shortly after the fall of communism, to promote democracy, normally not compatible with anti-Semitism. At the time, we worried together to see certain East European elites reunite with their old anti-judaic passion. But here, the Judeophobia that makes blood run in the streets of Europe no longer comes from the far right: it’s a Muslim product.

Much more embarrassing !

Despite this mutation [in Judeophobia], I can only hope that your convictions of that time, will still know how to tear France from its somnambulism. As remarked by one of the lawyers of the Halimi family, William Goldnadel, “if the murderer had been blond-haired and blue-eyed, all of France would have marched in the streets: he is an islamist, so all of France hides in the woodwork.”

Hence, there could be no question of saying anything about this murder during the campaign for presidency. The French journalists — which had been so interested in the “Theo” [7] case — obeyed the instructions of the public prosecutor in an as yet unheard-of unanimity to cover up the case. The Jewish press aside, only one journal from Texas reported about it [italics RL]. The police report has just been issued and the lawyers have given a press conference, astonished by the absolute cover-up about the case. In fact, the enquiry confirms what we already knew — and worse.  Her murderer massacred her while reciting suras from the Qur’an and calling her “Satan” (a neighbour has made an audio of several minutes). After having killed his victim while the 3 policemen were present (they were waiting for extra police forces), the murderer started praying again.  He was finally arrested at 5:35. Sarah Halimi was lying dead, on the pavement.

All this is awful. So we find, against all odds, an argument that reassures us. Just like the murderer of Nice [8], the assassin is ”mad”. Hence, he was not sent to jail, but to a psychiatric hospital. Ouf, we can breathe easy! As a result, and because he was a little “manic,” the police didn’t arrest him, but instead, to a mental hospital where he’s still being treated at public expense.

You may remember, Mr Minister, that this denial of truth has already killed in France. Just think of the 23 days during which the young Ilan Halimi was kidnapped, then sequestered and tortured, finally murdered by the “Gang des Barbares” [9] in 2006. The French police were of no help during the whole episode, rejecting any idea that anti-semitism could have played a role in the affair and preferring to believe the absurd notion that this was the result of some war between rival gangs.[10]

The boss of the Judiciary Police would not admit that anti-semitism could have played a role there, even after the main murderer, a certain Youssof Fofana, was captured (with the help of the Mossad) in Ivory Coast. There has not been, there cannot be anti-semitism in France. Only at the trial was anti-semitism finally cited as an aggravating circumstance.

Ten years later, we have reached the same point. From one Halimi to another, we confront a textbook case in which those who plumb the depths of the collective unconscious and its pathologies can find food for thought. Two Jews put to death under torture, in cases that could have been avoided. Yes, this is unacceptable and it has become your problem. It is unacceptable for the Jews, but it should be so for non-Jews as well.

At least in a normal democracy. The revival of anti-semitism is always a mark of the health, or moral failure, of a society. What are we witnessing today, in 2017? Authorized hatred and uninhibited translation into action by some. Voluntary blindness and approval, silent or joyous from others. And, last but not least, the total indifference of most everybody.

Yes, the murderer was not a politically correct one: neither was the victim. Have you noticed the following, Mr Minister? As long as our local barbarians killed only Jews — [Sebastien Salem in 2003], Ilan Halimi in 2006, the Toulouse children in 2012, a Jewish couple in Brussels in 2014, some people shopping Porte de Vincennes in 2015, it was not that important: let us not make too much fuss about it.

They had to be somehow a little “guilty,” since people have been saying that for two millennia. In the batch, there must have been some “Arab” soldiers [11] and “islamophobe” journalists [12] who were, on some level, asking for it. Let’s not make a stink about such things. But at the Bataclan [3], “innocent Frenchmen,” to recall the unfortunate slip of Raymond Barre [13] after the anti-semitic attack on rue Copernic in 1980, that was too much! This was unacceptable. “Why us ? Why France ? Why murdering innocents?”

Place de la République after Charlie Hebdo Massacre, January 2015 [photo RL]

On July 31, 2016, about 100 French Moslem intellectuals signed a letter calling for a self-reassessment of the Islam of France after the assassination of the caricaturists, that of youngsters come to  a concert, that of a pair of policemen, that of children and women attending the celebration of the National Holiday, that of a priest during the mass… Yes, this letter did not omit any of the dramas of this kind that had occurred in France… except every attack in which Jews, individually or collectively were murdered [italics RL], some of them children…  Surely this was from absent-mindedness.  Any outrage? Any objections? So few…

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, necessarily “neo-reactionary,” for the fire to put itself out. Our politically correct journalists and thinkers are expert at this. Or, maybe, you would prefer to be wrong with jihadists rather than right with realists ? [14]

We won’t get out of this by practicing magical thinking and communing with the antediluvian catechism whereby Evil cannot ever arise from the camp of the Good, in this case, the former “Wretched of the Earth.” [15]

Adapted from the French by André Unterberger and Richard Landes.
Author: Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, PhD in philosophy, writer and historian, author in particular of La Pensée égarée. Islamisme, populisme, antisemitisme: essai sur les penchants suicidaires de l’Europe, Grasset ed.

FOOTNOTES
[0] Ilan Halimi (not related to Sarah Halimi) was murdered in an atrocious 24-day action, involving many participants (only one of them is still in jail), in 2006.
[1] Minister of the Interior, France

[2] the rounding up of thousands of Jews in Paris, by the French police: they were delivered to the Germans and taken to Auschwitz
[3] the theater where more than 100 French people were murdered in 2016 by an islamist
[4] the Prime Minister until the last presidential election
[5] a TVCable channel reaching mainly a Jewish audience
[6] a French “humorist” who specializes in antisemitism
[7] a minor delinquent who complained of having been brutalized by the police: President Hollande
went to the extreme of visiting him in the hospital
[8] he killed 86 people on la “Promenade des Anglais” with a ramming truck
[9] the name the group of murderers gave themselves
[10] the victim was a perfectly law-abiding citizen.
[11] a reference to two Muslim French soldiers who were killed by Mohamed Merah in Montauban four days before his murder of French Jews in Toulouse.
[12] a reference to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.
[13] Barre was  Prime Minister when an attack  (later found to be of an islamist origin) against a Paris synagogue was carried: some Jews were killed inside, and some, Jews and non-Jews alike, outside: Raymond Barre deplored the death of the “innocent” victims, clearly meaning by this (he later confirmed this interpretation) the non-Jewish ones.
[14] an allusion to the celebrated French leftist motto “Better be wrong with [the useful idiot] Sartre than right with [Raymond] Aron.”
[15] reference to Franz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, to which Sartre wrote an introduction justifying the terrorism of the oppressed.

8 Responses to From Ilan to Sarah Halimi: Shameful France

  1. Mary Ellen Waithe says:

    Wherever antisemitism arises, the authorities must take public note of it, must fight it, must control it. Whenever people of whatever ethnicity, faith, politics, class or sexual preference are targeted because of that feature, authorities must take public note of it, must fight it, must control it. The fight must be in the press as well as in the judicial system: public opinion must be influenced to resist such bigotry, and bigoted criminals must be heavily punished for their crimes. Our hearts go out to minorities everywhere who are the victims of bigotry anywhere.

  2. […] From Ilan to Sarah Halimi: Shameful France French public intellectual, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, has written an open letter to Gerard Collomb, the new French Minister of the Interior about the stunning silence in the French public sphere about the terrible murder of Sarah Halimi, a doctor, who was tortured and murdered by her Muslim Arab neighbor while three armed policemen stood outside her door waiting for backup. Below is a translation of the text by André Unterberger with some changes by me.An open letter to Gerard Collomb [1]: from Ilan [0] to Sarah Halimi, a shameful FranceSource: ATLANTICOMr Minister,A 65-yr old Jewish lady MD, during her sleep, is attacked and atrociously tortured for more than one hour. 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.Her name was Sarah … Sarah Halimi.This atrocious scene did not happen in 1942, before or after the “Rafle du Veld’hiv” [2] but in the night from April 3rd to April 4th, 2017, in a tiny apartment close to the “Bataclan” [3]: Cries of “Allah Akbar” accompanied the scene. The next Sunday, a silent march was organised in the area. Youngsters from the nearby quarters countered it with yells of “Mort aux Juifs” or “We own kalachnikovs”.[0] Ilan Halimi (not related to Sarah Halimi) was murdered in an atrocious 24-day action, involving many participants (only one of them is still in jail), in 2006.[1] Minister of the Interior, France[2] the rounding up of thousands of Jews in Paris, by the French police: they were delivered to the Germans and taken to Auschwitz[3] the theater where more than 100 French people were murdered in 2016 by an islamist […]

  3. Александр Клишо says:

    This is unbearable! Stop it France!

  4. […] woodwork.” On 25 May the public intellectual Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine wrote an impassioned open letter, posted in Atlantico, to Gerard Collomb, the minister of the interior in the new Macron government. She […]

  5. […] an open letter to new French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine — a French […]

  6. […] an open letter to new French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine — a French […]

  7. john simhi says:

    This is truly AN ABSOLUTE STUPIDITY on the part of those policemen . the french police establishment in general and the french government……….

    You see someone is about to kill a French citizen , and with all your training , amunition and power you don’t act and let the primitive Arab kill her ???????????????????????????????????????????????

    you are a too low level of a human
    to be a policeman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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