Monday, March 10, 2008

French Jew Kidnapped and Terrorized

In a gratefully limited reprise of the gang murder of Ilan Halimi, French authorities have arrested six banlieue thugs in connection with the kidnapping and humiliation of Mathieu Roumi, a French Jewish teenager. Roumi was terrorized in the same suburb as Halimi by tormenters professing membership in the "Barbarians", the gang that did Halimi in.

For two hours the attackers tortured the young man. One shoved cigarette butts into his mouth, another took issue with Roumi's Jewish origin, grabbed correction fluid and scrawled "dirty Jew" on his forehead. The six men proceeded to scream at him and threaten that he would die the way Halimi did.

They identified themselves as members of the "Barbarians," the same gang that kidnapped Halimi from his store, demanded ransom for his release, and when that was not forthcoming, tortured the 23-year-old over the course of three weeks. Moments after he was dumped on the street, Halimi died.

Roumi told police investigators that throughout his ordeal, his assailants employed measures with sexual and sadistic connotations. When the issue of his sexual orientation arose, one of them placed a condom on the tip of a stick and shoved it in Roumi's mouth.

"We admire Youssouf Fofana!" they shouted at him, referring to the leader of the gang that murdered Halimi.

As is customary, Sammy Ghozlan has been commenting on the case. You can read about Ghozlan and the problem of Jewish persecution in the banlieues in Marie Brenner's France's Scarlet Letter, a Socialism of Fools bellwether essay.

Update: All of this said, 2007 was the quietest year for French anti-Semitism since the start of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000.

The year 2007 was the quietest year the French Jewish community has known since 2000. In October 2000, after the second intifada broke out, French Jews were hit by a wave of anti-Semitic attacks the likes of which had not been seen since World War II. In 2007, fewer than 200 anti-Jewish incidents were recorded, a scale akin to the number of attacks recorded in just one month in 2001.

There was a drop across the board in attacks, curses, threats, bullying and harassment.