The French Legal System Tries to Blame Sarah Halimi’s Murder on Marijuana Rather Than Anti-Semitism

On April 4, 2017, Kobili Traore, a Mali-born Parisian, broke into the apartment of his neighbor, a sixty-five-year-old Jewish widow named Sarah Halimi, and brutally murdered her. During the attack he yelled “Allahu Akbar” and “Satan”; on previous occasions he had shouted anti-Semitic slurs at Halimi and her relatives. A French court is now evaluating a psychiatric report—commissioned by the investigating judge in the case—according to which Traore was so intoxicated from cannabis that he can’t be held criminally responsible. Ben Cohen comments:

There is, of course, a well-documented connection between the use of cannabis and episodes of psychotic violence, but these examples invariably involve users with preexisting mental-health conditions. No one has indicated that Traore suffers from schizophrenia or a related condition; the argument being entertained by the investigating judge, therefore, rests on the claim that cannabis use alone robbed Traore of his “discernment.” . . .

The second and third psychiatrists who assessed Traore believe this to be true; the first psychiatrist, Daniel Zagury, manifestly did not, and had no doubt that the killer’s mind was sound enough for him to stand trial for murder aggravated by anti-Semitic prejudice toward his victim. . . .

There should be no mistaking . . . that a final decision that goes against putting Traore on trial, opting instead for some kind of medical supervision instead, will be an irremovable stain on France’s reputation, . . . denying basic justice to the victim of a hate crime that was sickening even by current French standards of anti-Semitism and racism. It means that France, as a nation, will be denied a further opportunity to learn how anti-Semitic beliefs can transition into anti-Semitic violence—since previous and subsequent episodes in recent memory, such as the kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi (no relation) in 2006, or the terrorist shooting of three small children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, or the murder of eighty-five-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll exactly one year ago, have seemingly failed to teach the French public that lesson.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Drugs, France, French Jewry, Politics & Current Affairs, Radical Islam

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy