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

Israel’s Economy Thrives While the Middle East Disintegrates

Jan. 19 2018

Now that the data have come in from 2017, it is clear that the Israeli economy had another successful year, expanding at a rate higher than that of any other advanced country. Israel’s per-capita GDP also grew, placing it above those of France and Japan. Daniel Kryger notes some of the implications regarding the Jewish state’s place in the Middle East:

The contrast between first-world Israel and the surrounding third-world Arab states is larger today than ever before. Israel’s GDP per capita is almost twenty times the GDP per capita of impoverished Egypt and five times larger than semi-developed Lebanon.

Like any human project, Israel is a never-ending work in progress and much work remains to integrate ḥaredi Jews and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s knowledge economy. Properly addressing Israel’s high costs of living requires more economic and legislative reforms and breaking up inefficient oligopolies that keep the prices artificially high. However, by any standard, the reborn Jewish state is a remarkable success story. . . .

Much has changed since OPEC launched its oil embargo against the West after the failed Arab aggression against Israel in October 1973. Before the collapse of the pro-Arab Soviet empire, China and India had no official ties with Israel and many Western and Japanese companies avoided doing business with Israel. Collapsing oil prices have dramatically eroded the power of oil-producing countries. It has become obvious that the future belongs to those who innovate, not those who happen to sit on oil. Israel has today strong commercial ties with China and a thriving partnership with India. Business delegations from Jamaica to Japan are eager to do business with Israel and benefit from Israel’s expertise. . . .

[For its part], the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement may bully Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western campuses. However, in real life, BDS stands no chance of succeeding against Israel. The reason is simple: reborn Israel has . . . become too valuable a player in the global economy.

Read more at Mida

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Middle East, OPEC