Cries of "vive la France" and "la justice" accompanied President Jacques Chirac, his wife Bernadette and Premier Dominique de Villepin last night as they left the memorial evening held here yesterday for Ilan Halimi.Caroline Glick notes that the Islamic gang appears to have connections to the Hamas as well:
The ceremony, which was held in the Grand Synagogue on rue de la Victoire, was seen by many in the Jewish community as the state leaders' formal declaration that anti-Semitism was to blame for the horrific kidnapping, torture and murder of the 23-year-old Parisian.
At 5 P.M., two hours before the ceremony's official opening, police cars surrounded the synagogue area. Police at roadblocks inspected the bag of everyone who entered the area. Hundreds of thousands of people crowded on either side of the street, waiting their turn to enter the synagogue. At the synagogue's entrance police used metal detectors and checked the identity cards and passports of all who pushed in.
The synagogue's 3,000 seats were full, dozens more mourners stood in the aisles and many thousands remained outside and could not get in.
During the chilling ceremony, an 8-year-old read the Psalm "I will raise my eyes to the mountains, whence will come my help?" near a giant picture of Halimi.
Halimi's family and others in the Jewish community said that had the authorities admitted earlier that the young man had been attacked for being a Jew, he could possibly have been saved.
Halimi was found dying, covered with burns and cuts, on Monday February 13. He had been kidnapped three weeks earlier, after a Muslim gang sent a blonde to seduce him. Halimi had agreed to meet with her after meeting in a chat room. Immediately after his abduction his mother went to the police, saying he was kidnapped by anti-Semites. Sources in the community said three Jewish youngsters had managed to escape similar abdications in recent months.
The police told Halimi's mother, Ruth, to stop all telephone connection with the kidnappers, as a way of forcing them to use electronic mail, which was traceable.
The police did not know that during the five days in which the kidnappers tried in vain to contact Halimi's family, Halimi suffered terrible torture. One of the kidnappers said, "We put our cigarettes out on him because he was a Jew."
Anti-Semitism in the Muslim dominated suburbs of Paris and other French cities is all-encompassing. As Nidra Poller related in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, "One of the most troubling aspects of this affair is the probable involvement of relatives and neighbors, beyond the immediate circle of the gang [of kidnappers], who were told about the Jewish hostage and dropped in to participate in the torture."The police in France, and in fact, in many other places around the world, are going to have to start showing some serious reform.
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.
Halimi's family alleges that throughout the 20 days of Ilan's captivity, the French police refused to take the anti-Semitic motivations of the kidnappers into account. The investigators insisted on viewing his kidnap as a garden variety kidnap-for-ransom criminal case, which they said generally involves no threat to the life of the captive. The police maintained their refusal to investigate the anti-Semitic motivations of the kidnappers in spite of the fact that in their e-mail and telephone communications with Ilan's family, his captors repeatedly referred to his Judaism, and on at least one occasion recited verses from the Koran while Ilan was heard screaming in agony in the background. The family alleges that if the police had been willing to acknowledge that Ilan was abducted because he was Jewish, they would have recognized that his life was in clear and immediate danger and acted with greater urgency.
Glick also notes something else very disturbing about this case:
In addition to the exterminationist anti-Semitism of Ilan's murderers and the unwillingness of the French authorities to acknowledge the anti-Semitic nature of the crime until it was too late, there is one more aspect of the case that bears note. That is Israel's reaction to the atrocity. In short, there has been absolutely no official Israeli reaction to the abduction, torture and murder of a Jew in France by a predominantly Muslim terrorist gang that kidnapped, tortured and murdered him because he was a Jew.If would-be governments like Kadima, led by people like Olmert, whose own corrupt activities were exposed recently, and can be read about in these earlier topics, are going to be the ones leading the country, acts of anti-Semitism like the horrifying murder of Halimi will never be effectively dealt with.
No Israeli government minister, official or spokesman has condemned his murder. No Israeli official has demanded that the French authorities investigate why the police refused to take anti-Semitism into account during Ilan's captivity. No Israeli official flew to Paris to participate in Ilan's funeral or any other memorial or demonstration in his memory. The Foreign Ministry's Web site makes no mention of his murder. The Israeli Embassy in Paris - which has been without an ambassador for the past several months - only publicly expressed its condolences to the Halimi family on February 23, 10 days after Ilan was found. This, when the French Jewish community considers Halimi's murder to have been the greatest calamity to have befallen it in recent years; when aliya rates rose 25% last year; and when Ilan's mother has told reporters that her son had planned to make aliya soon and was just staying in France to save money to finance his move to Israel. For its part, as Michelle Mazel pointed out in The Jerusalem Post yesterday, the French press has noted that the Israeli media has not given the story prominent coverage. Halimi's murder has not appeared on the front pages of the papers or at the top of the television or radio broadcasts.
Although appalling, the absence of an official Israeli outcry against Halimi's murder is not the least surprising. Today, the unelected Kadima interim government, like the Israeli media, is doing everything in its power to lull the Israeli people into complacency towards the storm of war raging around us. Against the daily barrages of Kassam rockets on southern Israel; nervous reports of al-Qaida setting up shop in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; the ascension of Hamas to power in the Palestinian Authority; and Iran's threats of nuclear annihilation, Israel's citizenry, under the spell of Kadima and the media, appears intent on ignoring the dangers and pretending that what happens to Jews in France has nothing to do with us.
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.
Kadima's conditional Zionism finds expression in its policies in Judea and Samaria. There, the gist of the government's actions is that the only people with inherent human rights in Judea and Samaria are the Arabs.
See also Debbie Schlussel's report, which notes that Halimi's family, of Sephardic descent, came from north Africa to France to get away from anti-Semitism, and also Melanie Phillips' report (via Israpundit).
Cross-posted to Tel-Chai Nation.