The President of France has condemned antisemitism in an historic address earlier this week.
President Macron began his ten-minute long video address to the American Jewish Committee by reaffirming France’s “commitment to defending religious freedom and tolerance.”
After praising the contributions of French Jews, President Macron stated that “antisemitism is, as it has always been, an unacceptable, unjustifiable, menace, in the face of which we must relentlessly mobilise all our energies.”
Reiterating how important it was for France to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, he went on to say that the Definition alone “is not enough”, and that France needs to strengthen their actions.
He then detailed how France’s network of investigators and specialist magistrates were assembled in order to provide care for victims of hate crimes, as well as offering a higher level of efficiency when dealing with investigations. President Macron also described how France has tackled online hate through its online watchdog.
Regarding the need for Holocaust education in schools, President Macron said that education was “at the heart of the fight against antisemitism.”
On the topic of the Sarah Halimi murder, President Macron defended the Court of Cassation’s ruling as it fell under France’s current legislation. However, he has said that he has called on the Minister of Justice for a reform in the law in cases where the perpetrator has deliberately ingested intoxicants.
It was announced earlier this week that a French Parliamentary commission of inquiry will be established in order to investigate the murder of Sarah Halimi.
In 2017, Ms Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman, was murdered by her 27-year-old Muslim neighbour, Kobili Traoré, after he tortured her before pushing her out of a window to her death. Mr Traoré was said to have yelled “Allah Akbar,” “I killed the shaitan,” which is an Arabic word for ‘devil’ or ‘demon’, along with antisemitic vitriol. Campaign Against Antisemitism held a rally in solidarity with French Jews in opposition to the Court of Cassation’s ruling to let Sarah Halimi’s murderer go free. The rally took place outside the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, with protesters holding placards bearing the words “J’accuse! Solidarity with French Jews” and “Je Suis Sarah Halimi”. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance was by registration only, with all places taken within 24 hours of our announcing the rally, with a significant waiting-list. A further 10,000 supporters demanding justice for Sarah Halimi watched the event across Campaign Against Antisemitism’s social media channels. The rally in London was part of a global movement of rallies in Paris, Marseille and other French cities, Tel Aviv, New York City, Miami and Los Angeles.