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November 17, 2015 5:40 pm

Israeli Reporter Recalls Paris Terrorist as Antisemitic Bully in High School

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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French Jewish i24 reporter Julien Bahloul. Photo: Facebook.

French Jewish i24 reporter Julien Bahloul. Photo: Facebook.

An Israeli journalist originally from France was shocked to discover that one of the terrorists who took part in the Paris attacks last week was someone from his home town, and with whom he attended high school, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.

Julien Bahloul said of 29-year-old Omar Ismayil Mostefai, who blew himself up at the Bataclan Theater during Friday night’s multi-pronged attacks – and was later identified by one of his severed fingers – that the two had grown up together in Courcouronnes, a poor suburb south of Paris.

Bahloul, a reporter and anchorman at i24 News, said that though he did not initially remember Mostefai, he understood from the terrorist’s biographical details that he had lived in the same neighborhood, was the same age and had attended the same school.

What Bahloul did recall clearly, however, was “suffering greatly from antisemtism at that school.”

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One of Bahloul’s classmates, a Muslim who always stood up for him and other Jewish students victimized by antisemitic verbal and physical assaults, said he not only remembered Mostefai, but remembered having to defend Jewish students — including Bahloul — from him, according to Channel 2.

Bahloul described his feelings in the wake of the Paris attacks, which left more than 130 dead and several hundred wounded, and after realizing his former connection to one of its perpetrators.

It is a sense, Bahloul told Channel 2, “that those attacks were close to me, and reminds me of the problem with French society, which I have known about for a long time – that the French are not waking up to the fact that a portion of their youth have gone crazy. [They have not] wanted to see the escalating extremism of kids in the suburbs.”

Contemplating the opposite paths he and Mostefai took in life, Bahloul said, “I immigrated to Israel and became a journalist, while he went to Syria and became a terrorist.”

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  • Alexi

    And the “media” will still deny that there’s ANY connection between the Antisemitism and the Terrorism.

    Big thanks to whomever it was that defended the Jewish students from the bullies. That took guts. Kol Hakavod!

  • Charles Martel at Tours

    France got the minority they deserve! France and Europe are dying from the Sickness called Islam,they have allowed the germ to overcome them. R.I.P Europe you Suffered from the Banality of Evil.

    To the Jews of Europe I say RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gary Katz

    The headline is inaccurate. The reporter’s former classmate remembered the terrorist as a bully. The reporter couldn’t recall the terrorist specifically.

  • Helene Weinberger

    It is not surprising to me. Children who have been taught to “hate” or despise will either follow through on that pattern, or conceivably – if otherwise educated – can become the vanguard of a different society. Emile Zola was not a Jew when he defended Dreyfus in a France that was then anti-Semitic – he was a leader. We need more like him to overcome France’s poor record on anti-Semitism.

    • Mal

      “It is not surprising to me. Children who have been taught to “hate” or despise will either follow through on that pattern, or conceivably – if otherwise educated – can become the vanguard of a different society.”
      Spot on, Helene. Look at Obama!

  • Geoffrey Gilbert

    France is responsible for its own misfortunes by ignoring
    the “outer suburbs” of Paris and other cities and sowing
    the seeds of discontent on which the extremists latched.
    Angela Merkel has set this scenario up in Europe. We have
    yet to reap the whirlwind

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    What a small world, indeed! Israel is fortunate to have Bahloul as a journalist. His decision affirmed life while his former class mate Mostefai rejected it. Here is a salient case of the road less traveled by both young men. This talking point also demonstrates how intertwined human life can be, even in terms of morality: one’s decision can save his or her life, while someone who was at one time living in one’s vicinity and sharing activities in life with this person can take the lives of others.

    • MBKraft

      The two different paths remind me of Abu Nidal, who used to be one of the Mideast’s most dangerous terrorists. While he was attacking Israeli and other targets (backed by Libya and Syria), his brother became a respected citrus merchant on the West Bank.

  • DocReality

    FED UP with on-campus antisemitism?

    Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to declare Students for Justice in Palestine an official HATE-GROUP. Thank you for your support!

  • Paul Cerar

    In other words, this suicide bomber was already of the devil before he became a terrorist.

    Paul Cerar
    Toronto, Canada

  • Emanuel

    intelligence there you go now you have analysis from someone who understands the situation finally