On Sunday, French police discovered the body of a holocaust survivor and French citizen, who became the latest victim of Islamic terror in France. French authorities discovered the body of Mireille Knoll, of blessed memory, severely burned after she was set afire on Friday night by her attacker. Knoll’s body had at least 11 stab wounds, which indicated that she was stabbed before her attacker set her on fire. According to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), the victim had filed complaints with the police against one of her neighbors whom she said threatened to kill her. In what appears to be the trend in Europe – a trend of extreme caution and reluctance to call Muslim attacks against Jews anti-Semitism – the French police did not release many details of the attack and did not refer to any motives behind the murder. The silence from French police authorities comes amid what appears to be strong evidence of anti-Semitism as the motive behind the attack.
In stark contrast to the official response of the French police, French parliamentarian Meyer Habib made the following remark which he posted to Facebook yesterday: “Her name was Mireille Knoll, 85 years old, the human face of a woman, a victim of a barbaric murder. I visited the two sons of Mireille Knoll of blessed memory, and their wives tonight. I met a beautiful family steeped in humanist values, welded by love and destroyed by grief. Look at the bright face of this woman, who was just sweetness and goodness, to imagine the suffering of her children and grandchildren, who reside in Israel and have just arrived in Paris to pay her a last tribute on this eve of Passover.”
Similarities Between Friday’s Attack and the Attack on Sarah Halimi Last April
Habib went on to point out that the attack bared the markings of another anti-Semitic attack against a Jewish woman – the brutal murder of Sarah Halimi, of blessed memory. Sarah Halimi, also a resident of Paris, was a 66-year-old Jewish teacher and physician. Halimi, the mother of three children, was beaten by her Muslim attacker, who recited quotes from the Quran, shouted “Allahu Akbar” and insults at his victim, before throwing her out of the window of her home. The 27-year-old Kobili Traore was arrested the day after the attack, which occurred this past April. Ten months later, the courts finally recognized that anti-Semitism played a role in the nature of the heinous crime.
“Like Sarah Halimi, in this case as well, the French authorities are very careful about linking the murder to an anti-Semitic motive. The family has no doubt about the anti-Semitic background of the incident… For Sarah, it took almost 10 months for the legal authorities to recognize the obvious reality. What about Mireille? The investigation has begun, but I am afraid that after Sarah, Mireille also fell victim to the hatred of Jews which is increasingly seen in the suburbs, against the backdrop of Islamic radicalization, hatred of Israel but also hatred of France,” Habib said. “Like Sarah Halimi, Mireille K knew the suspect, currently in custody: a 35-Year-old Muslim neighbor, a sex offender, whom she had known since he was a child… It is not a question of stigmatizing anyone, but of describing a sad reality and fighting this Islamism which plagues our country.”
Last week, the Israel Security Agency (also known as Shin Bet or Shabak for short), in conjunction with the Israel Police, announced the discovery of an Arab cell that had solicited the help of an employee of the French consulate in Israel to smuggle weapons to Judea and Samaria.
As compared to other countries in the European Union, France has seen a disproportionate amount acts of anti-semitism directed at members of the Jewish community living there. In January, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that France was facing a “new form of anti-Semitism” marked by violence, in reference to an assault in a Paris suburb on an 8-year-old boy wearing a kippah (Jewish-religious head covering).
Friday’s Terror Attack at Trèbes, France
This past Friday, Redouane Lakdim, a 26-year-old of Moroccan descent who pledged allegiance to Islamic State, killed 3 people and injured at least 15 people, in a deadly terrorist attack that culminated in the suspect holding shoppers in a French supermarket hostage. During the hostage crisis, a heroic French officer gave himself to the terrorist in exchange for a female hostage whose life he saved. He became one of the murder victims of the terrorist after he was shot by Lakdim. The police stormed the supermarket after they heard shots fired and killed the terrorist.
Our hearts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of Friday’s terrorist attacks. May we work even harder to eradicate this kind of terror from the world, in light of these recent heinous crimes.