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“We must all become the voice for Sarah Halimi”

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“We left a message for the French Consulate” on behalf of murder victim Sarah Halimi, said Andria Spindel, Co-Chair of End Jew Hatred. (Photo: supplied)

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April 4, 2017:  Sarah Halimi, 65, a retired Jewish doctor, teacher and mother of three, was brutally murdered. Her killer, 27 year old Kobili Tratore, a devout Muslim and a neighbour in her apartment building, broke into her apartment. Screaming “Allah Akbar” and antisemitic epithets, he beat her savagely and threw her out of her third story window.

April 25, 2021:  The supreme French Court of Appeals, ruled that because he was high on marijuana he was not responsible, and acquitted him. The Jewish world locally and globally was in shock. People took to social media to express their outrage. The acquittal sent a message of impunity to the antisemites – you can get away with anything when it comes to Jews, even violence.

Virtually the entire mainstream media ignored this travesty of justice. Only Jewish news outlets and French media covered it. The New York Times, the most influential news source in North America –nothing.

According to Honest Reporting, for four years, Jews have complained that mainstream media and the public were turning a blind eye to the murder, and that nobody but Jews cared if Jews were attacked. Every other group gets front page when violated – black, Asian, Latino… When someone tore the hijab off a young woman’s head, the story got headlines all over the world.

The ruling is a disgrace. And yet, so far, only French and Jewish media have touched the story.

“The lack of coverage on a matter so serious constitutes a widespread media failure to take antisemitism seriously and to pose hard questions of those in power,” said a report from Honest Reporting. “It also suggests that such a risible court decision is legitimate and will embolden those who seek to attack Jews.”

But Jews are no longer silent as they were in the past. Thousands around the world marched, demonstrated, protested , inflamed by the court decision. Rallies in front of French embassies and consulates, were held all over the world – Paris, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, Rome, London, Tel Aviv and the Hague.

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Toronto’s rally demanding justice for Sarah Halimi, was held on Sunday April 25 in front of the French Consulate at Bloor and Yonge streets. The protest was organized by 26 year old Sami Cooper.

“I got mad at the deafening silence in Toronto,” she said in an interview. “The Toronto Jewish community is too compliant. Our silence oppresses us more,” she said when asked why she organized the rally. “I get angry when people complain that my generation doesn’t care. So many reached out to me to get involved., we created a new group-Toronto Jewish Advocacy.”

End Jew Hatred (EJH), a new grassroots movement that focuses on peaceful direct action against antisemitism and fights for Jewish civil rights, was also present. “The rally came together quickly due to the energy and enthusiasm of Sami Cooper who saw a need and acted”, commented Andria Spindel, Co-Chair of EJH. ”With help from EJH members, the rally changed to a motorcade, Covid compliant. We expressed consolation with the Halimi family, demanded justice for Sarah, and left a message for the French Consulate.”

B’nai Brith is sending out a petition on the internet, “Demand Justice in France”. They will officially present it to the French Ambassador to Canada on behalf of the Canadian Jewish community and all people of ”good conscience”. In addition, BB is calling on the government of Canada to demand that “France fill the gaps in its laws that allowed for this kind of abhorrent result.”

B’nai Brith announced that antisemitic incidents set a record for the fifth consecutive year in 2020. Last year also marked the third straight year in which more than 2,999 incidents were reported.

“All over the world, antisemitism is often treated differently and not taken as seriously…. As other forms of hatred and discrimination,“ Michael Mostyn, CEO of BB Canada said. “We will not be silent and accept this ruling as legitimate. We must all become the voice for Sarah Halimi and demand equality for all victims of Injustice.”

Born in Hamilton, Doris has many years of experience as a multimedia journalist. She has worked in radio, television and print journalism and written on a variety of topics especially the crucial issues in Canadian and Jewish life today. She is also Co Chair of the Canadian Institute of Jewish Research in Toronto.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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