A tree planted in a Paris suburb in memory of a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006 has been chopped down, authorities said Monday, confirming the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts in France.
Background: A French Muslim gang targeted young Jewish men. They kidnapped and brutally tortured and murdered a 23-year-old Jewish man named Ilan Halimi in Paris. His naked mutilated body was found by the railroad tracks.
— Paris Match (@ParisMatch) February 11, 2019
Halimi was enticed, trapped, held for three and a half weeks, tortured to death in the banlieue of Paris.
“The discovery Monday afternoon of the naked body of Ilan, 23 years-old, near the railroad tracks at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (Essonne) is the tragic epilogue
of a long police stake out. The victim had been tortured, 80% of his body was covered with bruises, deep cuts, and burns from an inflammable fluid. The young man, handcuffed and gagged, left for dead by his torturers, died on his way to the hospital.
Geller Report: Horrible tortures. One of the torturers would go to work at a TV station everyday and come back and partake in the torture. The girls who lured young men. They knew he had been kidnapped. They knew Yosef (the leader of the Barbarians) was extremely violent. They knew Ilan was still in his hands three weeks later. All they had to do was make an anonymous phone call to the police. No one would have known. They did not do it. No neighbor thought to say to the police that something strange was going on in this building.
The police told the family not to say a word. The Jewish community was not warned when prior attempts to kidnap Jewish men had failed. The Jewish community was not warned before the successful attempt.
Even one member of the gang who dropped out of the gang because he was shocked by their violence did not call the police.
These neighborhoods are not ghettos. They are not sordid. Not squalid.
When Ilan was found, the head of the fire department who was called to the scene, this man with decades of experience, almost fainted when he saw him. The last thing Youssef Fofana (leader of the murdering gang, the barbarians) did was to slit Ilan’s throat twice and pour an inflammable liquid on him and try to set it on fire. But this did not burn him to death, because Ilan walked for perhaps one hour, trying still to find a way to live.
PARIS (AFP) — A tree planted in a Paris suburb in memory of a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006 has been chopped down, authorities said Monday, confirming the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts in France.
Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by a gang that demanded huge sums of money from his family, believing them to be rich because he was Jewish.
After being tortured for three weeks, the 23-year-old cellphone salesman was found dumped next to a railway in the southern suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. He died while being brought to hospital.
On Monday, municipal workers sent to prepare a memorial site for an annual remembrance ceremony this week discovered that a tree planted in his honor had been chopped down and a second one partly sawn through, local officials told AFP.
The police are investigating the incident, which the French government’s special representative on racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, Frederic Potier, described as “ignominious.”
It is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts and attacks that have raised fears of a new wave of anti-Jewish violence in a country that is home to Europe’s biggest Jewish population.
Anti-Semitic acts surged by 74 percent last year, from 311 in 2017 to 541 in 2018, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Monday.
“Anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,” the visibly moved minister said near the spot where the tree was chopped down.
“By attacking… Ilan Halimi’s memory, it’s the Republic that’s being attacked,” he added, vowing that the government would take action.
In two separate incidents in the past two days, swastikas were drawn on Paris postboxes containing portraits of late Holocaust survivor Simone Veil and the word Juden (German for Jews) was sprayed on the window of a bagel bakery in the capital.
The incident involving the postboxes was reported by artist Christian Guemy, who painted the portraits of Veil on the boxes in the city’s 13th district to mark her burial last year at the Pantheon, final resting place of France’s most illustrious figures.
A former justice minister, Veil was a hugely respected figure whose death in 2017 caused a national outpouring of emotion.
“Shame on the despicable person that disfigured my tribute to Simeon Veil, Holocaust survivor,” Guemy tweeted Monday along with pictures of the boxes.
Reacting to the tweet, European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau expressed consternation over the “desecration.”
Anti-Semitic acts rise
Meanwhile on Sunday, one of the founders of French bagel bakery chain Bagelstein said vandals had sprayed the word “Juden” in yellow paint on the window of an outlet in the Ile Saint-Louis island in central Paris.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux drew a line between the graffiti and an arson attack last week on the home of parliament speaker Richard Ferrand, over which the “yellow vest” protest movement has come under suspicion.
But Gilles Abecassis, co-founder of Bagelstein, said he did not believe that anti-government demonstrators, some of whom have shown support for a comedian convicted of anti-Semitism, were responsible.
“They wrote it in yellow but that could be for the Star of David,” he said, adding that he had received thousands of messages of solidarity from around the world.
Anti-Semitic acts rose by 69 percent in the first nine months of 2018, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in November, warning that France, whose pro-Nazi regime deported Jews during World War II, was “very far from being finished with anti-Semitism.”
In recent years, French jihadists have targeted Jews in a number of terror attacks.
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