Op-Ed: Murder of a Jew, France, 2006
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
France did not deserve to be the resting place of this precious Jew.
That poor body was also burned, as if it the horror had taken place during the Spanish Inquisition of the 15th century .
Because all that was to remain of Ilan Halimi was his name.
Then that would also have been erased by French hypocrisy.
As Francis Szpiner, the lawyer for the family of the boy slaughtered because of his Jewish identity, said, "the silence killed Ilan Halimi and justice has helped to perpetuate this conspiracy of silence, because the public was not told why he was killed”.
Seven years ago, at the outskirts of the Ville Lumière, Paris, a Jewish boy named Ilan Halimi was kidnapped and held prisoner for twenty-four days, tortured to death because he was a Jew. A poor human torso to dismember and throw in the street, as you do with the remains of dinner, thrown to the dogs.
Now a famous French director, Alexandre Arcady, a friend of Interior Minister Manuel Valls, has made a film on Halimi. The film's title, " 24 Jours (24 Days)", comes from the book written by Ruth Halimi, Ilan's mother.
"I wanted to make this film because in France the emphasis has been put on the killers, not the victims," Arcady said to the French press.
France discovered Ilan’s contagious smile only after his brutal death. A smile that says nothing of the hatred and the ferocity which marked his last three weeks of life. Ruth repeats that the killing of her son is "unprecedented since the Shoah".
The murder of Halimi was a ritual murder executed in the name of the Islamic crescent in the French Republique. But France still denies that crescent.
We discovered it during the trial of Youssouf Fofana, the head of the "barbarians” who kidnapped and killed Halimi. Fofana entered the courtroom with a smile and shouted: "Allah will win". When asked about his date of birth, the terrorist replied: "February 13, 2006 in Sainte -Geneviève -des -Bois".
That's the day that the body of Ilan was found, naked and tortured to death.
Fofana sent a letter of insults to the court, accompanied by a photo of a Palestinian Arab suicide bomber who had blown himself up at a nightclub in Tel Aviv: "On behalf of Muslims and African victims of Zionist terrorists, the bearded men in kippahs, Inshallah”.
Fofana was defended in court by Emanuel Ludot, the same lawyer who had coordinated the defense team of Saddam Hussein, and by Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, wife of one who had the absolute confidence of the bloodthirsty terrorist Carlos, also known as " the Jackal". Carlos was also behind the Palestinian Arab terrorist commando group which kidnapped and killed Israeli athletes at the Olympics in Munich.
Ilan's uncle told the court that during phone calls to family members of the boy, the kidnappers read aloud verses from the Koran. The kidnappers knew that Ilan’s mother was a telephone operator. And that Ilan worked in a cell phone store. The terrorists were not looking for money, there was none to be had, but for the perverse pleasure of mutilating the flesh of a Jew.
Ilan was held hostage in a three-room apartment on the third floor of a tower block on Prokofiev street, Bagneux, in the department of Hauts-de-Seine. An eleven-story building inhabited by hundreds of people, who took the elevator every day and certainly heard the screams and moans of Ilan.
But no one seems to have heard anything. No one seems to have noticed anything. Not even the comings and goings of all those young Muslims who held Ilan bound and gagged since the day of his abduction.
They fed him by proteins purchased in a pharmacy. They slapped him, beat him on the head, back, legs, mouth, hit him with the back of the hand or the handle of a broom. They used that broom to simulate a scene of sodomy and photographed Ilan in a degrading position. The autopsy revealed an incision of between six and seven inches on Ilan’s left cheek. Outside the apartment it was zero degrees, the apartment was not heated and Ilan was completely naked.
The terrorists sent a photo to the family with some colored balloons behind a "happy birthday" wish. The executioners enjoyed torturing Ilan. "They celebrated their victory," writes Ruth Halimi. "The victory of having captured a Jew and butchering him cheerfully."
The French journalist Guy Millière writes that "Ilan 's screams were heard by neighbors because they were especially atrocious: the killers disfigured the flesh of the young man, broke his fingers, burned him with acid and eventually with fire." They even cut the hair of Ilan’s body, in order not to leave any trace of his passage on earth.
Ilan was wrapped in a cloth bought at the grocery store on the corner, as you do with dead bodies. Fofana arrived in the middle of night. While Ilan looked at him, the Islamist cut Ilan’s carotid artery with a knife. Then he burned him with a can of gasoline.
This is how the life of a French Jew ended.
A year after Ilan’s death, Ruth Halimi took the remains of her son and transported them to Jerusalem. " I felt it was my duty as a mother to give my son a rest that I judged impossible in France, where Ilan was starved , beaten, wounded, burned. How to rest in peace in a land where he suffered so much? Someone could have spit on his grave”.
France did not deserve to be the resting place of this precious Jew. There is a photograph of Ilan Halimi in which he has short hair, wears a t-shirt and a happy smile, looking forward to life.
That gentle smile, which reminded me of the photo of the Jewish boy in the Warsaw ghetto, should forever torment the bad conscience of Europe.
But Ilan’s martyrdom in the French suburbs is a new Vichy of complacency and indifference.