French Jews Demand Action Against Facebook ‘Support Committee’ for Accused Antisemitic Murderer of Sarah Halimi
A Jewish defense organization in Paris is urging the public prosecutor in the French capital to take action against the “ignominy” of a Facebook page that was created in solidarity with Kobili Traore, the accused antisemitic murderer of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman beaten to death in her apartment in April 2017.
Traore was excused from a criminal trial by France’s highest court last month after it deemed that his consumption of marijuana on the night of the killing had left him temporarily insane.
The solidarity page on Facebook — created in the name of the “Kobili Traore Support Committee” — was discovered on Sunday by Jewish community activists, who declared themselves “outraged” and “disgusted,” according to the newspaper Le Parisien.
“Come tomorrow, I will file a complaint with the public prosecutor of Paris,” said Franck Serfati, a lawyer for the BNVCA, a community defense group that works with victims of antisemitism. “How do you turn the tables and make the criminal look like a victim? This is the most serious of injustices.”
Politicians also voiced their condemnation. “I dare not imagine the shock, the revulsion and especially the incomprehension that this must have aroused within the Jewish community,” François Pupponi, a member of the French National Assembly, stated on Twitter.
As of Sunday afternoon, the support committee’s page was no longer visible on Facebook, though it remained unclear as to whether it had been permanently removed. However, a blog on antisemitism run by a Jewish activist was able to access the group and take screenshots of its content.
The “Balance ton antisemite” blog featured the group’s introductory message, written by an individual using the name Abdelkader Bensaid who deploys a range of different profile photos that promote Islamist and jihadi themes. His message declared: “Defend Kobili Traore, defend this French citizen, who is being persecuted by a group that wants to lynch this young man.”
The Facebook group contained a total of 35 members before it was taken offline. Many of the names listed are reported to be supporters of Alain Soral — a neo-Nazi activist and unrepentant Holocaust denier who collaborates closely with Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a notorious antisemitic “comedian” and public agitator.