French Court Convicts Man for Threatening Jewish TV Presenter Who Called Out Rapper’s Antisemitic Lyrics
A French court this week convicted a 33-year-old man for an attempted assault last September on a Jewish TV presenter at the Paris studio where she works.
The court in Nanterre, near Paris, gave a two month suspended sentence to the assailant, named in French news outlets as Samir E. He was convicted for leveling insults and death threats at the presenter, Valerie Benaim — including telling her that he had come “to do battle with the Jews.”
The court heard that the assailant had been angered by Benaim’s trenchant criticism of Freeze Corleone — a French rapper whose hit debut album is steeped in “antisemitism, conspiracy theories, and apologies for Hitler, the Third Reich and [Afghan Taliban commander] Mullah Omar,” according to one leading French anti-racist organization.
Appearing on the live talk show “TPMP” on Sept. 17, an angry Benaim denounced Corleone for lyrics such as, “I arrive determined like Adolf in the 1930s,” and, “Every day I f_k Israel like I live in Gaza.”
“I’m going to try to be very calm, because the words of this boy touch my heart, because I am a Jew, I belong to the Jewish religion,” Benaim declared. “He speaks about humanity, but when you attack a black person, a Jew, a Muslim, you attack humanity.”
According to TPMP producers, Benaim received an “avalanche” of hateful messages on social media in response to her comments — including several posts written by the man identified as Samir E.
Freeze Corleone — whose real name is Issa Lorenzo Diakhaté — is meanwhile facing legal proceedings for violating French laws against hate speech and Holocaust denial.