The Sarah Halimi decision typifies a wider malaise

The JC Leader, 30 April 2021

April 29, 2021 11:35

It is difficult to overstate the anger felt by Jews across the world over the decision by the French High Court earlier this month to allow Kobili Traore, the killer of Sarah Halimi, to escape trial because he was high on drugs when he murdered his victim. On Sunday, thousands protested in Paris and there was a large demonstration in London outside the French Embassy. Jewish French judge Jack Broda resigned from the bench in protest, aware that the message the French authorities are sending is clear: you can murder a Jew with impunity if you are high. And yes: although the law through which Traore was able to avoid trial applies to anybody, this is about Jews specifically and how France treats them.

For many years there have been complaints that the French justice system is soft on crimes against Jews. Given the high and rising levels of antisemitic incidents and violence there, it is no wonder that so many French Jews have fled. But it is not just France: across Europe we are seeing a resurgence in antisemtism, not just in words but in deeds. We have had our own threats here — not least of course when the official opposition party was led by Jeremy Corbyn — but the number of antisemitic incidents is much lower than on the Continent and, far from facing institutional antisemitism, the British authorities and legal system are, most of the time, allies in the fight against Jew hatred. But in France, for all the fine words of President Macron, that is simply not the case. That is both shameful and deeply frightening.

April 29, 2021 11:35

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