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January 20, 2021 6:05 pm

Fifteen Years After Kidnapping, Remembrances Pour in for Murdered French Jew Ilan Halimi

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Protestors gather in Paris in February 2006 following the antisemitic murder of Ilan Halimi. Photo: Reuters/Regis Duvignau.

Words of remembrance circulated on social media Wednesday to mark the 15th anniversary of the kidnapping of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old French Jew who was murdered by an antisemitic gang in 2006.

“Ilan Halimi was kidnapped 15 years ago today, then tortured and murdered in one of the most brutal antisemitic attacks in France in recent memory (and there have been many),” tweeted Washington Post columnist James McAuley. “Spare a thought for him today.”

Halimi, who lived in the Paris suburb of Bagneux with his mother and sister, was kidnapped on January 20, 2006. He spent three weeks in captivity as gang members tortured him and tried to extort his relatives for ransom money. Left close to death near a railway track on the city’s outskirts, he perished on his way to the hospital.

Judea Pearl, father of the journalist Daniel Pearl, who in 2002 was murdered by terrorists in Pakistan, shared a eulogy he had written for Halimi shortly after his death, which was published in Le Monde.

“Let there be no silence on your grave, Ilan, no rest, nor learned discussion… until another Zola rises with a [louder] ‘J’accuse,'” Pearl wrote on Twitter, quoting from his 2006 article.

Francis Kalifat — president of CRIF, the communal organization representing French Jews — wrote on Twitter, “I think of his family and all the victims of #antisemitism. Neither forgiveness nor forgetting.”

The American Jewish Committee and the European Jewish Congress also recognized the anniversary, each writing, in separate tweets, “May his memory be a blessing.”

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