CRIF expresses dismay after charges of anti-Semitism in Jewish woman's murder dropped

The Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions of France on Wednesday expressed “deep dismay” after charges of anti-Semitism were dropped against a Muslim man who threw a Jewish pensioner to her death from a window in Paris in April.

After Kabili Traoré was charged with intentional homicide in the death of Sarah Halimi, CRIF released a statement decrying the fact that charges of aggrevated anti-Semitism were not included. "We are deeply dismayed at the decision to drop the anti-Semitism aspect at this stage when it has been perfectly well established by Kabili Traoré’s unequivocal statements and attitude. The CRIF expresses once again its disbelief [at this result.]”

CRIF President Francis Kalifat has called on judicial authorities, the minister of justice, the public prosecutor, and the investigating judge “to assume their responsibilities with clarity and courage.”

Joel Mergui, the President of the Consistoire (the Israelite Central Consistory of France), told AFP: “This act should have been called Islamist immediately, the fact that it was not has created a climate that alters the trust that had established between the community and the authorities".

"I am furious that things have taken so long," added the head of the religious body, saying he believed eventually the circumstance of anti-Semitism will be retained. "In the knowledge I have of the file, it cannot end otherwise," he said.

In late June, the CRIF released a short statement containing four questions concerning the April 4 killing of Sarah Halimi in Paris.

“The murder of Sarah Halimi was 85 days ago already and the investigation is not advancing. Why this silence? Why this omerta?” read the statement, which contained the Italian-language mafia term for a code of silence about criminal activity and a refusal to give evidence to authorities. “What is being hidden? Why this denial of anti-Semitism?” 

In April, Sarah Halimi was thrown from a window in Paris. As she fell to her death, her murderer screamed “Allahu akbar

Kobili Traore, the murderer, had a history of antipathy toward Jews in general and his victim in particular. Only two years before the assault, he called Halimi’s daughter a “dirty Jew.” But when he was arrested he was temporarily institutionalized as he had claimed temporary insanity and, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, there was no reference to possible hate crime charges in the criminal indictment.

In an op-ed in Le Figaro last month, CRIF President Kalifat wrote "there is evidence that this is a textbook case of an anti-Semitic murder, but it is being covered up by an ‘omerta’ and this heinous crime has not been recognized for what it is."

“Our society is struggling to confront this new reality and to recognize the obviousness of naming evil when it comes to a Jewish victim," he said.

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