Sunday, March 05, 2006


Perhaps I should spend less time online and more time reading the news.

Today, the NY Times printed a long article about the kidnap, torture and death of this young man, Ilan Halimi, in suburb of Paris. His tormentors were a ragtag gang, led by a Moslem from the Ivory Coast. Among the shocking and horrible aspects of this incident, is the fact that many neighbors and residents in the building in which Ilan was held and tortured for three weeks knew, or at least partly knew, what was taking place.

Since the police insisted on treating this case as a typical kidnap/ransom situation, and did not take into account the anti-Semitic factors, they did not allow for the possibility that Ilan may be facing unspeakable torture and death. This act was carried out by sociopathic criminals, but it was allowed to proceed by racists who could not be bothered to intervene in a crime being committed against a Jew.

France may well be the world (and certainly the Western) leader in anti-semitism. The bland official reaction to recent anti-Jewish violence, the strenthening of racist political groups, the great reluctance to prosecute those culpable for deportation during WWII, (And, of course, PM Raymond Barre's memorable eulogy for victims of the 1980 Paris Synagogue bombing killing "both Jews and innocent Frenchmen"), all of these are consistent with sentiments both in French officialdom and in the street.

I am an optimist about humanity and the future path of the world. My feelings are not based on how great the current state of affairs are, but of how far we have come over the long, twisting passage of history. I am not rushing to paint broad conclusions about rampaging evil from this tragic incident.

But I find no comfort for this terrible death. All I can hear are Ilan's cries in agony. His last desperate, determined crawl, his eyes and mouth taped, his body cut and burned, his throat slashed. He crawled from the woods, where he was dumped, to a nearby train station. There he died.

Mi yiten roshi mayim, v'aini m'kom dima


Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Please light a virtual candle for Ilan Halimi on this

It's in French but I think it is easy to figure out.

March 05, 2006 6:45 PM  
Blogger The Jewish Freak said...

I join you in your mourning for a Jewish brother. May the murderers pay the price for the Jewish life they took.

March 05, 2006 11:08 PM  
Blogger dbs said...

Thanks, I'll spread the word.

For once, I agree with you. They've arrested 19 people thus far. I wonder how many will actually be convicted of anything.

March 07, 2006 4:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home