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France Continues Its Coverup of an Anti-Semitic Murder

Sept. 7 2017

In July, the French president Emmanuel Macron declared that “the judiciary must shed full light” on the murder of a Parisian Jew named Sarah Halimi, who was brutalized and killed by a Muslim neighbor on April 4 while he recited verses of the Quran and called her “Satan.” Macron’s comment, writes Michel Gurfinkiel, was a refreshing change after seemingly systematic attempts by France’s government and press to downplay the crime—attempts that still continue. The story begins with the police, who, thanks to a phone call from one of the killer’s relatives, arrived before he even entered his victim’s apartment but did not intervene until after she was dead:

Some [witnesses] gave details about the exact location of the assault, the attacker’s identity, the fact he vilified his victim as a Jew and as “a Satan” while hitting her, or even—as far as the Muslim neighbors were concerned—the Quranic verses he chanted. Yet the police still failed to storm Sarah Halimi’s apartment and rescue her. . . .

The behavior of the police was strange enough throughout this tragic night. Further questions were soon to be raised about the handling of the case. First, while the murder and its circumstances were reported almost instantly within the Jewish community and by the press agency AFP, the mainstream media didn’t mention it at all for two days. . . . Likewise, very little was shown or said about a protest march by 1,000 people in the neighborhood on April 9. Considering the enormity of the crime, the reporting remained bafflingly low-key. . . .

No less disturbing was the public officials’ silence. French members of the cabinet or government officials usually react to such crimes ex officio. Some may even take a more personal stand. . . . No such reactions occurred after Sarah Halimi’s murder, even though the minister of the interior granted an emergency audience to the leaders of the Jewish community. . . .

Third, there is the legal angle. The issue of the attacker’s sanity, and thus of his responsibility [for the crime], was left undecided for more than four months, and is still pending. . . . More disturbingly, the investigative judge, Anne Ihuelu, has declined to charge [the killer] with anti-Semitic motivations.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anti-Semitism, Emmanuel Macron, France, French Jewry, Politics & Current Affairs, Sarah Halimi

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy