Ilan Halimi in captivity
Ilan Halimi in captivity
Ilan Halimi in happier days
Ilan Halimi in happier days

Tender French Justice for the Gang of Barbarians

By Nidra Poller

In a show of disrespect for the family of Ilan Halimi, victim of the most atrocious anti-Semitic crime committed in France since World War II, the court announced the verdict after 10 PM on Friday night—the Sabbath—on the eve of the July 4th holiday weekend. Emma, the young lady who lured 23 year-old Halimi into the cruel trap was sentenced to nine years in prison. Youssouf Fofana, the “Brain of the Barbarians,” who admits he finished off his Jewish victim, after 24 days of torture, stabbing him five times and setting him aflame, gets “life” in prison (with a possibility of parole after 22 years). The other 25 accomplices or accessories were given jail terms ranging from acquittal to 18 years. The motive of anti-Semitism was retained for some of the defendants, but did not incur the corresponding ten-year increase in jail terms. Two men who played a key role in the Halimi kidnapping are on the loose because the police couldn’t persuade any of the defendants to cough up their names.

The two-month trial was held behind closed doors in juvenile court because two of the defendants were just under 18 when the crime was committed. Ruth Halimi, the victim’s mother, pleaded in vain for an open hearing. In January 2006 she had vainly entreated investigators to recognize the anti-Semitic motive of her son’s jailers. For 24 days the police followed false trails, overlooked clues, missed chances to nab the mastermind, and bungled negotiations for unrealistic ransom demands that were little more than a pretext for the torture inflicted on Ilan Halimi. The photo sent to the family the day after his disappearance tells it all: Ilan’s face is totally plastered with thick silver duct tape. His eyes and mouth are sealed shut, leaving a small hole for his broken nose.

He was kept naked—first in an unheated apartment, then in a boiler room—fed liquids through a straw, forced to eliminate in a plastic bag, beaten, kicked, pummeled… No one will ever know the extent of his ordeal. Playing on the nuances of French law that supposedly establishes the exact degree of participation of each individual in a collective crime, defense lawyers portrayed their clients as lost sheep haplessly involved in a seemingly normal short-term business enterprise…even when it became obvious that the whole thing was bungled and only the torture was real.

Late Friday afternoon, the press, alerted by rumors that the verdict would be pronounced before nightfall, stood for hours in the halls of the Palais de Justice before being admitted into the antiquated courtroom. The atmosphere was weirdly festive, as defense lawyers chatted with each other and fussed over their clients, half-hidden from our view behind a glassed-in cubicle. It was after 10 PM when the presiding judge finally announced—in a barely audible voice— prison terms for the 27 defendants, from life to 18 years, to 15, 13, 11 and by even increments all the way to six months suspended sentence and, for two of them, acquittal. Most prisoners are released in France after serving half their terms.

The whole thing has been hushed up and tucked away under front page stories about holiday traffic jams and the Tour de France bicycle race. Last week Maître Francis Szpiner, representing the Halimi family, expressed his misgivings about the indulgent recommendations to the jury of the Avocat Général—a sort of voice of the people and the Bench. Interviewed Friday night after the lenient verdict was announced, Szpiner called upon the Minister of Justice to appeal (the plaintiffs do not have the right to appeal). Several Jewish organizations have called for a gathering Monday night in front of the Justice Ministry at Place Vendôme…at the same place where enraged Islamists shouting “Death to Israel, Death to the Jews” made a show of force in January.


France’s Private Concentration Camp

By Jamie Glazov,, Friday, June 26, 2009

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pamela Geller, founder, editor and publisher of the popular and award-winning weblog Atlas She has won acclaim for her interviews with internationally renowned figures, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye’or, Natan Sharansky, and many others, and has broken numerous important stories — notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her op-eds have been published in The Washington Times, The American Thinker, Israel National News, Front Page Magazine, World Net Daily, and New Media Journal, among other publications.

FP: Pamela Geller, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Geller: Thank you for having me Jamie.

You’ve been following the trial of the torture and murder of a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, in Paris. Tell us about the case and the trial.

Geller: The death of Ilan Halimi can only be described as an unspeakable horror, and yet typical of the increasing Islamic Jew-hatred and violence against the Jews. A group calling itself the Muslim Barbarians targeted Jewish men for torture and murder. Their first attempts to kidnap a Jew were unsuccessful, despite the lure of a beautiful girl. Ilan Halimi was not so lucky. He did not escape the Islamic homemade concentration camp the Muslim Barbarians had set up.

The banality of evil lived in that apartment building. Apartment dwellers, all Muslims, heard Ilan’s screams and cries of torture over a period of three weeks, and yet did not call the cops. The screams must have been loud because the torture was especially atrocious: the thugs cut bits of flesh off the young man. They cut his fingers and ears. They burned him with acid. They poured flammable liquid on him and set him on fire. Not only did those in the building not go to the police — they did nothing at all. Worse, many took part in the tortures.

So systemic is the Jew hatred in France that it impeded rescuing Ilan or securing his release. Halimi’s family said that throughout Ilan’s entire captivity, the French police refused to move on any of the evidence that pointed to an anti-Semitic motive. Instead, the police conducted a routine kidnap investigation (which invariably involves ransom, not death). The police refused to pursue the anti-Semitic motivations of the kidnappers in spite of the fact that, according to newspaper accounts, “in their e-mail and telephone communications with Ilan’s family, his captors repeatedly referred to his Judaism, and on at least one occasion recited verses from the Koran while Ilan was heard screaming in agony in the background”.

The family begged the police to listen to torturous phone calls from the kidnappers and acknowledge that Ilan was abducted because he was Jewish. Clearly, had the police not acted in judeophobic fashion, they would have recognized that Ilan’s life was in terrible danger and taken urgent action. But law enforcement was not the only guilty party. The government refused to acknowledge the anti-Semitic motives behind the torture and killing a full week after the Halimi turned up mutilated and dead.

This was not new, of course. In 2003, Sebastian Sellam, a popular disc jockey at a hot Parisian night club called Queen known as DJ Lam C (a reverse play on his surname) was on his way to work when in an underground parking lot, a Muslim neighbor slit Sellam’s throat twice. His face was completely mutilated with a carving fork. Even his eyes were gouged out.

It has taken three years to bring this case to trial and even now, they are hiding their dirty little secrets behind closed doors.

FP: How come this trial is not receiving any attention or coverage?

Geller: The French would like this ugly little business to go away. Like Al Dura. Like

their sordid national behavior when the Nazis occupied France.

The latest outrage in the closed (more like hidden) trial of the “Muslim barbarian” ringleader Fofana and his 26 accomplices (it was more like 50) in the savage torture and murder of Ilan Halimi is suspension of the trial, with no indication of when it will begin again. Why isn’t Youssouf Fofana, in a glass box like Eichmann at Nuremberg, chained like the wild animal that he is?

In a shocking display of proud Islamic Jew hatred (consistent with the most sacred teachings of the Koran), the brutal Halimi murder trial was suspended after the defendant spewed vile invectives and threw his “Arab shoes” across the courtroom at the jury. Throwing shoes at someone is a powerful insult in the Arab world.

According to a prosecution lawyer, Fofana’s shoe throwing occurred during the presentation of evidence by doctors who examined Halimi’s body.

It is not clear when the hearing would be resumed. The trial is being conducted behind closed doors, with no press or public allowed, at the request of two of the defendants who were minors at the time of the killing. The trial is closed at the request of barbarians so evil, so savage that it defies the normal mind. And yet the vichy French acquiesced to the Muslim nazis and are hiding their pathetic attempt at justice behind closed doors.

The silence in the media and across the world is a crime against humanity. Imagine, if you will, the unthinkable, the impossible — if Ilan had been a Muslim and his attackers had been Jews. Stop laughing — I know it is impossible, but that’s not my point. This is damning proof of the Jew hatred that is running wild across the world. Israel shuts a light off in Gaza and the world wants to eliminate her. Imagine if Ilan had been black and his attackers had been white. Stop and think about it.

FP: So let’s dig a bit deeper here: why did the police turn a blind eye to the evidence indicating that Islamic anti-Semitism was behind the kidnapping? Why is the French government, law enforcement and the media now covering up why this horrifying crime was committed? Better to let a Jew get tortured and killed than to point to the truth about what Islam teaches and what many Muslims believe and are ready to act upon, yes? This is Jew-Hate and a surrender to Islam simultaneously, yes?

Geller: Yes, exactly. This is a strain of anti-Semitism in Europe that has never been eradicated. There is never any discussion of Islamic anti-Semitism, and it is fundamental to Islamic teachings. This refusal to acknowledge the obvious gives tacit approval to incitement to violence. It is unsafe to walk about many European cities with any identifying Jewish apparel or accessories on. Is that what Europe learned from World War II? Is that the lesson that Europe took away from the holocaust?

The lesson that Europe had decided to avail itself of in the aftermath of Auschwitz was not that evil is bad and that they behaved like monsters, but rather that everything was caused by nationalism — and therefore, what they really needed to do was have a European Union that would obviate their need for nationalism, so that they could become this transnational gobbletygook. They’d all get together and therefore they wouldn’t have another Auschwitz.
But really the lesson should have been that they were evil and they had to be good. And that is the lesson they still have to learn. You have to be able and willing to make moral distinctions and stand up for the good and fight evil, and that is something the Europeans refuse to do.

They are constantly having memorials to dead Jews, while condemning Israel for every act of self defense, no matter how benign it is, in the defense of innocent Jewish citizens.

Ilan Halimi best demonstrates the horror of this lack of humanity. But certainly the “death to Jews” rallies that spread like a cancer across the Europe (and major US cities) during the Gaza defensive in January is certainly a gross demonstration of this evil.

FP: What are your own personal thoughts on this case?

Geller: It is an indescribable horror. Unimaginable. It demonstrates the free hand Jew hatred is given. It was not just the Muslims that reveled in the torture of this young Jewish man; it was law enforcement’s response (or lack of it), and the circus-like atmosphere of the trial. It is a stunning indictment of French society. Flagrant and unabashed hatred.

FP: What can ordinary citizens do to try to bring some kind of justice to this horrifying crime and to expose the shameless, hateful and cowardly behavior of French authorities and the media etc?

Geller: Speak up! Write, call, email, fax media and elected officials. Burke was right when he said all that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Speak up! Evil is made possible by thesanction you give it. Withdraw your sanction (channeling Ayn Rand here).

FP: What do we get from the reality that this happened, as you relate, in an apartment building where myriad dwellers, all Muslims, heard Ilan’s screams and cries of torture and did not only did nothing but came to participate? This wasn’t a secret between three people. Dozens and dozens of people knew about this, and supported and engaged in it. What does it tell us?

Could it possibly have something to do with the Islamic theological teaching about not only the importance of hating and killing Jews, but also that a Muslim will go to heaven if he kills a Jew?

Hmmm I wonder.

The liberal and leftist milieus cannot accept what it tells us of course, but they know there would never be a reverse situation (i.e. an apartment building full of Jews who hear a Muslim screaming from being tortured and they support it and participate in it, etc.). And if this did happen, which it wouldn’t, imagine the media being completely silent about it.

Geller: This is the terrible truth about Islam, well documented in Dr. Andrew Bostom’s encyclopedic tome,The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism. The Islamic dehumanization of the Jews mirrors what the Nazis did during the Hlocaust. I find it troubling in all of my research and personal dealings it is difficult to find devout Muslims (any Muslims that are not apostates) who are not hostile to Israel. It speaks volumes. And of course, none of this would be possible if the Left were not aligning itself with political Islam. But this is consistent with the modus operandi of the left. Historically they align themselves with the totalitarian ideology du jour.

FP: Pamela Geller, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

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