Paris: 2 Muslim Men Murder 85 Year Old Woman: Holocaust Survivor

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

French to charge two with anti-Semitic murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor

After Mireille Knoll found stabbed to death and burned in her Paris apartment, FM Le Drian says France must continue to fight anti-Semitism

Mireille Knoll, 85, a Holocaust survivor who was found murdered in her Paris apartment (Courtesy)

Mireille Knoll, 85, a Holocaust survivor who was found murdered in her Paris apartment (Courtesy)

French authorities said Monday that two men arrested for the brutal killing in Paris of an 85-year-old Jewish woman, Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, would be charged with an anti-Semitic murder.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said the two suspects have been put in custody. It said it was asking investigating judges to charge the pair with premeditated murder of a vulnerable person for anti-Semitic motives.

They will face possible charges of “murder related to the victim’s religion, real or imagined” as well as aggravated robbery and destruction of property, judicial sources said.

The prosecutor’s office asked that the two be placed in preventive custody.

One of the men was a regular visitor of Knoll whom she treated “like a son” and who had visited her that day, her son Daniel said.

“We are really in shock. I don’t understand how someone could kill a woman who has no money and who lives in a social housing complex,” her son added.

Israel’s Hadashot news reported that this suspect was a former neighbor of Knoll’s who was jailed for sexually assaulting the daughter of a woman who helped look after her. After his release from jail, Knoll complained that he had been threatening her, the TV report said.

The French foreign minister, who is visiting Israel, said it was likely that the motive for her killing was anti-Semitic, and that his country must continue to fight against anti-Semitism.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, said he had a “moving and difficult moment” when he heard about “the outrageous murder” of Holocaust survivor  Knoll in Paris, just after ending his visit to Yad Vashem.

French Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visits at the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, during his official state visit in Israel. March 26, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“We cannot yet say if the motive for the murder was anti-Semitism, but it is reasonable to assume,” Le Drian said. “Therefore, this only strengthens the fact that this struggle has not ended, and that we will need to continue fighting against anti-Semitism.”

The chief rabbi of Paris, Haim Korsia, wrote on Twitter that he was “horrified” by the killing.

Two men have been arrested over the killing of Knoll, whose stabbed body was found after her Paris apartment was set ablaze, police sources said.

One suspect was identified as a 29-year-old man. No details were given on the second suspect.

An autopsy conducted on Knoll, who lived alone, showed her charred body also had at least 11 stab wounds.

A forensic examination of the apartment showed that an arsonist started a fire in at least five distinct areas of that space, the report also said.

Mirelle Knoll, 85, a Holocaust survivor who was found murdered in her Paris apartment (Courtesy)

The Paris prosecutor’s office said that it had not yet determined a motive, but “is not excluding any hypothesis.”

“A preliminary examination of the elements of the crime does not reveal an anti-Semitic characteristic, but this possibility has not been discounted as police investigate further,” said a spokesperson for the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ), which works closely with the French police.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote in a statement Sunday that the suspected murder “is reminiscent of the crime committed against Sarah Halimi,” a 66-year-old Jewish teacher and physician, whom prosecutors say was murdered by her Muslim neighbor in April, partly in connection with her Jewish identity

A granddaughter of Knoll, Noa Goldfarb, wrote on Facebook that her grandmother was murdered by a neighbor who is a Muslim.

“Twenty years ago, I left Paris knowing that neither my future nor that of the Jewish People is to be found there,” wrote Goldfarb, who lives in Herzliya, Israel. “But who would’ve thought that I was leaving my relatives where terrorism and cruelty would lead to such a tragedy. Grandmother was stabbed to death 11 times by a Muslim neighbor she knew well, who made sure to set fire to her home and left us not even one object, a letter, a photograph, to remember her by. All we have are our tears and each other.”

A memorial to the Vel d’Hiv Roundup, on Quai de Grenelle in Paris. (CC BY-SA Leonieke Aalders, Wikimedia commons)

A Paris lawmaker who spoke with one of the woman’s sons said she had managed as a child to evade the notorious 1942 roundup of over 13,000 Jews in Paris during World War II.

Fewer than 100 of those who were detained at the so-called Vel d’Hiv cycling track and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived.

The CRIF umbrella grouping of French Jewish organizations urged “the fullest transparency” by the authorities investigating the killing, “so that the motive of this barbarous crime is known as quickly as possible.”

France’s half-a-million-plus Jewish community has voiced increasing concern over a rise in violent anti-Semitic acts.

Sarah Halimi (Courtesy of the Confédération des Juifs de France et des amis d’Israël)

“The barbarity of this murder sends us back to that of Sarah Halimi, just one year ago,” Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, said in a statement Monday.

Halimi was a 66-year-old Jewish teacher and physician, whom prosecutors say was murdered by her Muslim neighbor in April partly in connection with her Jewish identity. Anti-Semtisim was included in the indictment against Halimi’s suspcted killer, Kobili Traore, 28, after CRIF and BNVCA vocally protested its absence from the draft document.

“CRIF expects total transparency in the current investigation, so that the motives for this barbaric crime are known by all as fast as possible,” Kalifat added in the statement about Knoll.

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Polish Politicians Trying To Rewrite History Of Holocaust

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Lapid: Poland was complicit in the Holocaust, new bill ‘can’t change history’

Yesh Atid leader, son of survivor, condemns law prescribing jail time for using phrases such as ‘Polish death camps’; Poland played active role in WWII killing of Jews, he stresses

MK Yair Lapid leads a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset, January 8, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

MK Yair Lapid leads a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset, January 8, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid on Saturday slammed a controversial bill passed by the lower house of the Polish parliament which aims to penalize individuals or organizations who point to the European country’s involvement in facilitating atrocities during the Holocaust.

The Israeli member of Knesset, the son of a Holocaust survivor,  characterized the bill — which is expected to become law in Poland shortly — as an effort to rewrite history.

“I strongly condemn the new law that was passed in Poland, which attempts to deny the involvement of many Polish citizens in the Holocaust,” Lapid wrote in a tweet in Hebrew on Saturday.

“No Polish law will change history, Poland was complicit in the Holocaust. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered on its soil without them having met any German officer.”

He also tweeted in English.

I utterly condemn the new Polish law which tries to deny Polish complicity in the Holocaust. It was conceived in Germany but hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered without ever meeting a German soldier. There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that.

The new bill prescribes prison time for defaming the Polish nation by using phrases such as “Polish death camps” to refer to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland during World War II.

The bill, passed Friday, is a response to cases in recent years of foreign media using “Polish death camps” to describe Auschwitz and other Nazi-run camps.

Poland’s embassy in Israel hit back at Lapid, tweeting that his “unsupportable claims show how badly Holocaust education is needed, even here in Israel.” The intent of the Polish legislation, it said, “is not to ‘whitewash’ the past, but to protect the truth against such slander.”

Your unsupportable claims show how badly Holocaust education is needed, even here in Israel

To which Lapid retorted with outrage and a demand for an apology: “I am a son of a Holocaust survivor. My grandmother was murdered in Poland by Germans and Poles. I don’t need Holocaust education from you. We live with the consequences every day in our collective memory. Your embassy should offer an immediate apology.”

The intent of the Polish draft legislation is not to ‘whitewash’ the past, but to protect the truth against such slander

I am a son of a Holocaust survivor. My grandmother was murdered in Poland by Germans and Poles. I don’t need Holocaust education from you. We live with the consequences every day in our collective memory. Your embassy should offer an immediate apology.

Some major news organizations have banned language referring to Polish death camps.

Former US President Barack Obama used it in 2012, prompting outrage in Poland. Obama made the comment while awarding the Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II. Karski died in 2000.

During an East Room ceremony honoring 13 Medal of Freedom recipients, Obama said that Karski “served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself. Jan took that information to President Franklin Roosevelt, giving one of the first accounts of the Holocaust and imploring to the world to take action.”

After complaints, the White House said Obama misspoke.

The main gate of the former Auschwitz extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland, with the infamous sign reading ‘Work sets you free.’ (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images/via JTA)

The legislation calls for prison sentences of up to three years. It still needs approval from Poland’s Senate and president.

Critics say enforcing such a law would be impossible outside Poland, and that within the country it would have a chilling effect on debating history, harming freedom of expression.

While the law contains a provision excluding scholarly or academic works, opponents still see a danger.

They especially worry it could be used to stifle research and debate on topics that are anathema to Poland’s nationalistic authorities, particularly the painful issue of Poles who blackmailed Jews or denounced them to the Nazis during the war.

Dorota Glowacka, a legal adviser with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Warsaw, said the broad scope of the bill opens up the potential for abuse.

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President Trump: Is He The Most Clueless Ignorant Fool To Ever Set Foot In The White House?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

President Trump suggests anti-Semitic threats across U.S. are coming from within Jewish community

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that the President suggested that threats were coming from within the Jewish community.

(OLIVIER DOULIERY / POOL/EPA)

President Trump appeared to suggest Tuesday that the wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the U.S. could be coming from within the Jewish community itself, according to a Pennsylvania state lawmaker present for the comments.Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who was part of a group of state attorneys general meeting with Trump at the White House Tuesday, relayed Trump’s comments about the bomb threats to Buzzfeed News, explaining that the commander-in-chief seemed to indicate he felt some of the threats were being made from the inside, as part of a potential effort “to make others look bad.””He just said, ‘sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people, or to make others, look bad,'” Shapiro, a Democrat, said, repeating Trump’s alleged response to questions during the meeting about the large number of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in recent months.”It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me,” Shapiro said of Trump’s remarks.

Bomb threats again reported at Jewish centers, including New York

Shapiro claimed Trump used the word “reverse,” “two or three times,” adding that Trump also called the threats “reprehensible” toward the beginning of his remarks.

Trump also said he would address the bomb threats during his speech Tuesday night before the joint session of Congress, according to Shapiro.

The White House disputed Shapiro’s description of Trump’s comments.

“This is not what he said or meant,” a White House spokesperson told the Daily News in an email.

Pence visits vandalized Jewish cemetery, decries anti-Semitism

“He means (he) was referring to protesters,” the spokesperson added.

Trump’s latest comments came one day after yet another wave of bomb threats hit Jewish community centers across America, including one in Staten Island.

Jewish centers in at least nine states faced threats throughout Monday morning and afternoon, causing closures and evacuations, but there were no actual attacks.

The targeted locations included three New York centers — in Staten Island, Tarrytown and New Rochelle, according to officials and center representatives. Bomb threats also came in for centers in Cherry Hill, N.J.; Providence, R.I.; Asheville, N.C.; Mobile, Ala.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Talleyville, Del.; and Indianapolis, Ind., according to local reports.

Jewish community centers receive fourth wave of bomb threats

A spokesman for Trump, who has been criticized for not speaking out more quickly and forcefully, condemned the threats Monday afternoon.

“The President continues to condemn these, and other forms of anti-Semitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer. “No one in America should be afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely.”

The latest calls, however, come amid another trend of anti-Semitic vandalism nationwide: In the past week, dozens of headstones at Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were vandalized. Residents in Miami Beach, Fla. on Sunday reported finding swastikas carved onto their cars.

Trump, for his part, has faced scathing criticism for having not responded earlier and more forcefully to the increasing threats.

President Trump finally denounces anti-Semitism

And Trump’s latest comments prompted another round of backlash.

Vandals pushed gravestones on their bases at Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

Vandals pushed gravestones on their bases at Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

(TOM MIHALEK/REUTERS)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Daily News that Trump’s remarks were “an absurd and obscene statement,” while the Anti-Defamation League said it was “astonished.”

“It is incumbent upon the White House to immediately clarify these remarks,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “In light of the ongoing attacks on the Jewish community, it is also incumbent upon the President to lay out in his speech tonight his plans for what the federal government will do to address this rash of anti-Semitic incidents.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman tweeted he was, “sadly not surprised – but certainly disturbed – by Pres.Trump’s apparent claim that threats against Jews are false flags.”

Trump acknowledging rampant anti-Semitism won’t make it disappear

“If the reports are true, President Trump has gone over the Anti-Semitic deep end,” Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center, said in a statement.”

“Mr. President, have you no decency? To cast doubt on the authenticity of Anti-Semitic hate crimes in America constitutes Anti-Semitism in itself, and that’s something none of us ever dreamed would disgrace our nation from the White House,” Goldstein added. “If the reports are true, you owe the American Jewish community an apology.”

Members of Trump’s inner circle have also faced similar criticism.

Earlier Tuesday, a former Trump campaign adviser, Anthony Scaramucci, posted an ambiguous screed to his Twitter wall that appeared to connect the recent bomb threats to Democratic lawmakers.

“It’s not yet clear who the #JCC offenders are. Don’t forget @TheDemocrats effort to incite violence at Trump rallies,” Scaramucci tweeted, along with a link to a story from alt-new site Breitbart alleging that Democrats had hired “trained provocateurs to instigate violence at Republican events” during the 2016 campaign.

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UK Grows A Set of Testicals Concerning Growing Anti-Semitism At College Campuses?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL NEWS PAPER)

UK university cancels ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ event over anti-Semitism

Citing the British government’s adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism that includes exaggerated criticism of Israel, a university in Britain calls off an event marking “Israel Apartheid Week.”

According to a report on the Jewish Chronicle news site, the University of Central Lancaster event was meant to feature Ben White, a prominent anti-Israel activist, and pro-Palestinian academics.

A university spokesman quoted in the report says the session, titled “Debunking Misconceptions on Palestine,” was canceled because it contravened the government’s new definition of anti-Semitism and was thus “unlawful.”

“The UK government has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s new definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism,” the spokesperson is quoted as saying. “We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events, where we require assurances of a balanced view or a panel of speakers representing all interests.”

The British government in December adopted the relatively broad definition of anti-Semitism first put forward in May at a conference of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which is based in Berlin.

According to that definition, anti-Semitism includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

It also says anti-Semitism includes “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing
Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis” and “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”