Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Adar II 5768 - March 13, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Jewish Teen Tortured Near Site of Halimi Murder

By Arnon Yaffeh, Paris

A Jewish teen named Mathieu Roumi was hauled into a basement, where he was bound and tortured for an entire day three weeks ago right near the spot on the outskirts of Paris where Ilan Halimi Hy"d was tortured and murdered two years ago. The police are still claiming the incident was based on criminal motives, but were forced to notify the public regarding the incident following a leak in the Jewish press.

Six youths from various ethnic groups living in the building projects in Bagneux, a blue-collar Muslim suburb, were arrested and charged with holding and torturing the youth and a crime of an antisemitic nature.

According to the police's version of the affair, two youths ran into a 19-year-old Jew they knew from the building projects, demanding he pay back money they claimed he had stolen from them. He replied that he had not stolen anything, and then another four youths appeared on the scene, snatched him and brought him down to a basement, where they tied him up and beat him for hours. Other youths entered the basement during the course of the day, where they also took part in the beating and wrote the words "dirty Jew" on his forehead using correction fluid. He was released at the end of the day following a dispute among the gang members.

Although the victim arrived at the police station bleeding and with the writing still on his forehead, the police refused to classify the attack as an antisemitic incident. His parents had refrained from revealing their Jewish identity to their neighbors. Investigators were surprised an attempt to settle a financial dispute turned into antisemitic torture.

CRIF, an umbrella group for Jewish organizations in France, says antisemitism is becoming a part of street culture among gang members in suburban communities. According to a report in Le Monde youths in Bagneux are puzzled that the recent attack drew so much attention. One sociologist says in these neighborhoods there is no taboo against antisemitic speech and acts. According to some reports, only his father is Jewish.


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