May 25, 2017
France struggles to separate terrorism from cases of individuals following a psychotic impulse fueled by the rise of anti-Semitism
Last April, a Parisian Muslim with a history of drug addiction and crime entered the apartment of his neighbor—a sixty-seven-year-old Jewish woman named Sarah Halimi—beat her savagely, and then threw her out the window to her death. The French authorities, along with the press, obscured evidence suggesting that Halimi’s killer had religious motivations. Now her family’s lawyer has released further information confirming that he sought out a Jewish victim and prayed before and after committing the murder. Marc Weitzmann comments:
The Halimi family is now calling for a reclassification of the murder as a terrorist act with torture and with anti-Semitism as an aggravating circumstance. Yet, if the anti-Jewish impulse is indisputable, describing the murder as terrorism seems dubious, as everything indicates that [the killer, known to the public only as] Kobili T., acted on impulse. In fact, Sarah Halimi’s murder looks a lot like the killing of Sébastien Selam [another Jew murdered by a Muslim] that occurred in 2003, coincidentally in the same neighborhood. . . . It is difficult to draw an equivalence between the sudden upsurge of a murderous impulse and a planned killing that came at the end of months of preparation and training.
What should be understood is how the violent anti-Semitic impulse serves as a base and a justification for subsequent terror planning. In 2014, the year preceding the major terror wave that continues to this day in France, the figures on spontaneous anti-Jewish aggressions as given by the Ministry of Interior reached 800—two a day, directed against a total population of 500,000 people. . . .
Isn’t it striking, also, that, from the Kouachi brothers [who carried out the Charlie Hebdo/Hypercacher killings] to the Bataclan commando members, the killers involved in recent terror attacks voiced their hatred of Jews and “Zionists” while committing their deeds, regardless of whether their actual targets were Jewish?