It made headlines around the world late last month when 85-year-old Mireille Knoll was found dead in her Paris apartment.
As a child in 1942, she had narrowly escaped the round-up of French Jews for deportation to the Nazi death camps. Now, she had been stabbed to death, and her body partially burned when the attackers apparently tried to set her apartment aflame. The Paris prosecutor’s office said on March 26 that Knoll had been killed because of the “membership, real or supposed, of the victim [in] a particular religion.” The New York Times calls this “a roundabout way of saying she was killed because she was Jewish.”
This isn’t the first such case in Paris in recent months. In February, the judge hearing the case of the murder of an elderly Orthodox Jewish woman , allowing that more serious charge to move ahead. Sarah Halimi, 65, was killed last April when her neighbor Kobili Traore threw her from the window of her third-story apartment. Traore, a Malian immigrant, was heard using anti-Semitic slurs against Halimi.
These cases are of course contributing to the current controversies in France about immigration and the resurgence of anti-Semitism. But the Halimi case also touches on public perception of cannabis, even if few have commented on this aspect.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency informs us that Traore is pleading temporary insanity