Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday called for vigorous prosecution of the suspects arrested in the brutal murder in Paris of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll.
The leaders noted that French law enforcement officials investigated the attack as an anti-Semitic hate crime under French law and quickly determined the vicious murder was related to the victim’s Jewish religion.
Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, of the Conference of Presidents, said, “In an atmosphere of rising violence against Jews in France and elsewhere around the world, the circumstances of this horrific crime against an elderly Jewish Holocaust survivor clearly called for law enforcement to investigate whether anti-Semitism was a factor in the cruel murder. Justice requires that the perpetrators of this sickening hate crime be prosecuted to the fullest extent under French law.”
“While President Macron and other French leaders have forcefully condemned anti-Semitism, the response of law enforcement and other authorities to expressions and acts of anti-Semitic hatred is particularly important to reinforce a sense of security for Jewish communities,” they continued.
“Prosecutors and judges have a responsibility to vigorously pursue every aspect of this crime to ensure that the consequences of committing a hate crime under French law will prevent others from violently acting on their hate, and will deter those who seek to use social media, houses of worship, schools and other venues to promote violence based on anti-Semitism, other religious based hatred, and racism of all kinds,” said Greenberg and Hoenlein.
“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community in France and have conveyed our support directly to the leadership of the CRIF. We offer our profound condolences to the family of Mireille Knoll."
Also on Monday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for justice in the brutal murder of Knoll.
“Once again, an innocent person has been brutally murdered in France for no other apparent reason than the fact that she was Jewish and perceived as vulnerable,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.
“It is sickening to think that someone could do this to an elderly Holocaust survivor. We stand with the French community in demanding justice, and a clear message from the authorities that violence against Jews carries a heavy price,” he added.
ADL urged all French leaders and society to participate in a silent March planned for Wednesday by the French Jewish community to express their anger and revulsion at yet another violent anti-Semitic attack and murder and to show solidarity with the French Jewish community.
Knoll’s murder came as France's half-a-million-plus Jewish community voices increasing concern over a rise in violent anti-Semitic acts.
Last month, a judge confirmed that the April 2017 murder of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman who was beaten and thrown out of her window was indeed motivated by anti-Semitism.