March 31, 2018

FRANCE: Last Friday, An 85-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Was Stabbed 11 Times And Burned To Death IN HER HOME By Two Islamists Who Were Heard Shouting "Allahu Akbar". 😠

The Jerusalem Post
written by Staff
Sunday March 25, 2018

The burnt and stabbed body of a Holocaust survivor was found in her Paris apartment, in what a watchdog on anti-Semitism said was a case reminiscent of an alleged anti-Semitic hate crime.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote in a statement Sunday that the suspected murder of the 85-year-old woman, identified by BNVCA and in the French media only as Mireille K., “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.

According to the BNVCA, the octogenarian’s body was set on fire Friday night. Her charred body also had at least 11 stab wounds. Police have a suspect in custody in connection with her death.

The victim was found dead in her apartment on Philippe August Street in Paris’ 11th District, in the city’s east near the Nation Square.

She reported in the past to authorities about a man from the same street whom she said had threatened to “burn her,” BNVCA wrote.

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.
Daily Mail, UK
written by Peter Allen in Paris
Tuesday March 27, 2018

A man accused of stabbing an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor to death in her Paris apartment screamed "Allahu Akbar" during the anti-Semitic attack, it has been claimed.

Two men, one a convicted paedophile and the other a vagrant burglar, have been charged with knifing Mireille Knoll to death at her home in the French capital then burning her body.

A source close to the investigation has revealed the two arrested men gave conflicting accounts to police. One told interrogators he heard the other shout the words 'God is greatest' in Arabic during the attack.

The pair also allegedly targeted her because her Jewishness meant she had money.

'The terrible thing is that one of the attackers told the other: 'She's a Jew, she must have money',' Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told parliament on Tuesday.

'There are the stereotypes we have to combat,' he said.

Ms Knoll lived at the flat alone, and had treated one of the alleged attackers 'as a son' for more than 20 years, according to a source close to the case.

The prime suspect is aged 29 and has convictions for sex crimes including attacking a 12-year-old girl. He lived next door to Mrs Knoll, and regularly used to visit her, after the pair first met when he was seven.

The second suspect is a 21-year-old homeless man who has convictions for burglary. Data related to both men's phones place them at Mrs Knoll's apartment last Friday evening, when the fire broke out. Both suspects deny the charges.

A French-Israeli MP Meyer Habib said he was convinced Mrs Knoll had become the victim of the 'hatred and barbarism of an Islamist', who 'stabbed her eleven times in her family flat'.

Yesterday Ms Knoll's granddaughter Noa Goldfarb posted a picture of them together and claimed that a 'Muslim neighbour decided to take my grandmother's life'.

She added: 'He burned away all the childhood memories we had.'

Neither police nor prosecutors have commented on the religious or racial background of the attackers, simply describing them as French residents.

Ms Knoll's son Daniel told Israeli channel i24 News today that one of the suspects was a long-time neighbour who recently finished a jail sentence for a sex offence.

He said the neighbour had spent much of Friday, when the Jewish day of rest begins at sundown, chatting with his mother at the apartment, with the two sharing a drink.

Daniel Knoll said his mother suffered from Parkinson's disease and was not aware that her neighbour had spent time in jail for molesting a 12-year-old.

Reacting on Twitter President Emmanuel Macron condemned the 'dreadful' killing and reiterated his determination to fighting anti-Semitism.

Prosecutors believe the suspects stabbed Ms Knoll, who was found by police lying on her bed, and then set fire to her apartment in a bid to destroy evidence. The blaze was put out within 40 minutes, after emergency workers were called.

'Both men are in custody and have been charged with murder related to their victim's religion, real or imagined,' a source close to the case said.

An autopsy showed she had been stabbed several times before being partly burned by a fire that was started in the apartment where she lived alone.

The two men have been charged with murder, aggravated robbery and damaging property in a case investigators are treating as hate crime.

'My mother, my sweet and gentle mother, murdered for being Jewish... in 2018, how is it possible?' Daniel Knoll wrote on Facebook.

A spokesman for SPCJ, the Protection Service for the Jewish Community in Paris, originally said 'the investigation does not reveal any anti-Semitic elements'.

But during a visit to Israel on Monday, France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was 'plausible' that Mrs Knoll was killed because she was a Jew.

Mr Le Drian said anti-Semitism 'would not be surprising, and only strengthens the notion that this battle is not over and we will need to keep fighting [anti-Semitism].'

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told the Senate that since the start of the year, no fewer than 33 anti-Semitic acts have been committed.

This cancer cannot be allowed to eat away at our nation,' he said.

Mireille Knoll had lived in the neighbourhood - in the building where she died and another on the same street - for 60 years, said Francis Kalifat, head of Crif, a body that represents France's 400,000-strong Jewish community.

Daniel Knoll said his mother suffered from Parkinson's disease and was not aware that her neighbour had spent time in jail for molesting the 12-year-old daughter of a woman who acted as her live-in carer.

Mrs Knoll, who is now the mother of two grown-up sons living in Israel, was just nine when, in 1942, she escaped the so-called Vel d'Hiv Roundup in Paris.

French police directed by the occupying Nazis arrested 13,152 Jews, including more than 4000 children, and held them in the city's winter bicycle stadium.

Most were then entrained to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where fewer than 100 survived. Mr Habib said Ms Knoll was able to escape from the roundup 'thanks to her mother's Brazilian passport.'

A spokesman for CRIF, France's Representative Council of Jewish Institutions, said he expected 'the utmost transparency in the ongoing investigation so that the reasons for this barbaric crime are revealed as soon as possible.'

Jewish groups in France regularly complain about growing anti-Semitism, saying they are routinely targeted by radical Islamists and far-Right activists.

In April 2017, Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman, was killed in her Paris flat by Kada Traore, an immigrant from Mali who is said to have shouted anti-Semitic slogans as he carried out the crime.

Jewish groups were furious that it took a full five months for the French authorities to categorise Mrs Halimi's alleged murder as being motivated by anti-Semitism. Traore is currently in a psychiatric hospital awaiting trial.

France's half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigrations to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of a virulent strain of anti-Semitism in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods.

In 2011, an Islamist gunman shot dead three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

Four years later, an associate of the two brothers who massacred a group of cartoonists at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo killed four people in a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo urged all Parisians to join a silent march in memory of Mrs Knoll on Wednesday, and politicians across the political spectrum pledged to attend.

France's government presented a plan earlier this month to fight racism and anti-Semitism, focusing on social media and prevention in schools.

It also wants to change French law to force internet platforms to detect and remove illegal content.

An annual national count of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian acts - most involving threats - dipped in 2017 compared with the year before.

But anti-Semitic violence increased by 26 percent, and criminal damage to Jewish places of worship and burial by 22 percent.
DW, Germany
written by Staff
Tuesday March 27, 2018

Police have charged two people over the violent murder of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll. The 85-year-old, who escaped anti-Jewish purges in Paris during World War II, was stabbed and burned to death last week.

French authorities on Tuesday charged two men with the anti-Semitic murder of Mireille Knoll, an elderly Jewish French woman who was stabbed and burned to death in her eastern Paris apartment last week.

France's Jewish population — the largest in Western Europe — has warned of increasing anti-Semitism in the country and criticized authorities for not taking the threat seriously.

The case so far
  • Firefighters discovered the body of Mireille Knoll when they were called to put out a blaze at her apartment on Friday.
  • An autopsy revealed she had been stabbed repeatedly before being set on fire.
  • Police have charged two people with "murder related to the victim's religion, real or imagined" as well as aggravated robbery and destruction of property, judicial sources told AFP.
  • The pair has been placed in pre-trial detention.
  • According to AFP, both suspects are in their early 20s.
  • A police source said one of the men has a history of violent robbery, the other has convictions for rape and sexual assault.
Call for protests

An umbrella group representing French Jewish organizations called for a march in Knoll's memory on Wednesday and urged "the fullest transparency" by authorities investigating the case.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter: "I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences on the appalling crime committed against Mrs. Knoll. I reaffirm my absolute determination to fight anti-Semitism."
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Knoll's death showed the need for a "fundamental and permanent" fight against anti-Semitism.

The chief rabbi of Paris, Haim Korsia, said he was "horrified" by the killing.

Escaping the Nazis

Knoll fled with her mother to Portugal when the roundup of more than 13,000 Jews began in Paris in 1942. Most of those Jews were later murdered in Nazi death camps.

After the war, she returned to the French capital and married a Holocaust survivor who died in the early 2000s.

Rising anti-Semitism

France's Jewish community, which numbers an estimated half a million people, has voiced alarm over what advocates describe as an increase in violent Islamist attacks.

Knoll's murder comes a month after a judge confirmed that the April 2017 killing of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman, was motivated by anti-Semitism. For months, authorities disregarded anti-Semitic motives in the killing of Halimi, who was beaten and thrown out her window.

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