#JusticeForSarahHalimi: Dame Maureen Lipman’s Speech

Yesterday (Sunday 25 April) there were simultaneous #JusticeForSarahHalimi protests in Paris, Marseilles, London, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and several other cities.   Also yesterday in Miami and on Thursday in New York and Los Angeles.

Dr Sarah Halimi was a retired doctor and schoolteacher who was attacked and murdered in her Paris apartment on 4 April 2017 – Because she was Jewish. Her killer was 27-year old Kobili Traoré, her neighbour and a drug dealer and drug addict. He claimed he was under the influence of cannabis – under French Law this prevents prosecution.  The case has gone to the highest Court of Appeal, the Cour de Cassation, which ruled on 14 April that he was indeed not criminally responsible due to his mental state.

Traoré is in a psychiatric hospital. He could be discharged at any time and would then be free to murder another Jew. Unless the law is changed ( Président Macron says he wants this) he could again claim that he was under the influence of cannabis.

Bernard-Henri Lévy has written eloquently about the case. He questions the inconsistency of the Cour de Cassation and suggests that a new law should be called ‘Sarah Halimi’s Law’. However it could not be used retrospectively to prosecute Traoré.

The London protest outside the French Embassy was organised by Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA). The attendance was limited by the pandemic. I estimate there were around 250 there including some 60-80 French.  The speakers were all excellent: the CEO of CAA, Gideon Falter; Dame Maureen Lipman DBE; founder of the Hexagon Society, Dr Sophie Weisenfeld; political analyst Raphael Landau, and trustee of the charity Muslims Against Antisemitism (MAAS), Elizabeth Arif-Fear (Liz’s presence and speech were particularly appreciated).

Dame Maureen’s speech particularly needs to be widely read and to that end I am delighted that she has agreed to have it published it here:

” Here we are again … Nous sommes ici encore

Bringing coals to Knightsbridge – defending our race ourselves because no-one else stands with us ….

Call my Agent is the second best programme on Netflix, Les Enfants du Paradis my all-time favourite film – Who can fail to love Paris in the Springtime, Matisse or Marrons glacés? .. and aside from their inexplicable worship of Jerry Lewis, La Belle France might well remain on my list of desirable destinations.

However the French decision not to prosecute the vicious killer, Korbili Traoré, for the brutal murder of his next door neighbour, Sarah Halimi, means that until French laws on intent are changed, I would rather be in Hull (my own home city, romantically twinned with Sierra Leone) than cross the channel to that ‘shitty little country’ as they once, diplomatically, labelled Israel.

An innocent woman of sixty-five, a doctor and a retired teacher, Sarah Halimi was beaten and thrown off a third floor balcony to her death by a trained jihadist and known antisemite.  His actions may have been compromised by the influence of cannabis but he was compos mentis enough to shout “Allahu Akbar” (G-d is good), and deem  Sarah a ‘shaitan’ (or Satan)  as he flung her out of the window. As her neighbour, he had frequently terrorised her and called her daughter “a filthy Jew”.

According to one psychiatric report he had been ‘troubled by Jewish artefacts in Sarah’s apartment and the mezuzah on her door which’ (and I quote) ‘amplified the frantic outburst of hate.’

He will not, on appeal, be prosecuted. This appalling betrayal of Liberté and Fraternité  – not to mention Humanité – by the Cour de Cassation is the next chapter of the historic antisemitism of the French Nation. The world has seen it in their persecution and destruction of Captain Dreyfus, in the Vichy government, in the avoidance of responsibility for rounding up Jewish citizens during the Second World War and countless modern examples of the disregard they have for antisemitic crimes, including the obscene attack on school children in Toulouse, and the innocent deaths in the Kosher supermarket, the stabbing of a Holocaust survivor and a growing number of hate crimes against Jewish citizens.

The facts are that the French government is more fearful of Jihadist retribution than they are of justice for their Jewish community. They are paralysed by fear of race hate. In the case of the Holocaust survivor, she was stabbed and set on fire. It took the French authorities two days before the death was reported to the press. Sarah Halimi was thrown out of the window to her death; “Allahu Akbar” was screamed as she fell. Apart from the Jewish Press, the appeal decision has barely been reported. It doesn’t suit the left agenda that antisemitic attacks are anything other than the result of the actions of Israel. Little wonder that French Jews are fleeing the country of their birth and heading for Israel or elsewhere in the diaspora in record numbers. Where I wonder is the world’s outrage at these growing Gallic hate crimes? The Courts and now the Cassation Court of Appeal have dismissed the idea of prosecuting Traoré, on the grounds that he was (by the use of cannabis) ‘taken from a polymorphous persecutory delirium, with a mystical theme, during which ‘the simple’ antisemitic prejudice has turned into ‘absolute conviction’. The ‘simple antisemitism’? Simple as in ordinary/normal?

This man, this killer, did not have a brain tumour or psychosis informing his behaviour. This hate-fuelled jihadi was a ‘simple’ antisemite…….. with a drug dealing problem.

To me, this makes intoxication by the use of drugs or alcohol exonerate any criminal from an accusation of violence.

This clearly says that drunk drivers who kill children on the roads residing in prisons should all walk free!

Drug users who kill to feed their addiction should all walk free.

Furthermore it says that  if you want to kill a Jew with impunity then make sure you smoke a joint, or drink a bottle of Scotch before you do it.

It says that a killer takes no responsibility for their actions because they are deluded by their drug of choice.

It says – in its choice of words ‘the simple antisemitism’ and its insistence that Traoré’s drug-fuelled delusions made his crime random, not personal – that what David Baddiel has been telling us so chillingly this year – that ‘Jews Don’t Count’ – is 100% valid.

Please try to imagine the murder the other way round….would the courts have responded in the same way had a Jewish man of twenty-seven thrown a sixty-five year old devout Muslim woman to her death?

Would the world media and the Black Lives Matter movement and the extreme Left and Right have shown more interest ? I think we all know the answer.

There has been scandalously little Press attention paid to this heinous hate crime, either before or after the appeal.

Believe me, believe Baddiel, believe Melanie Phillips …Increasingly on the Left and in the West, Jews Don’t Count!

Traoré’s cannabis-induced psychosis did not cause him to murder his neighbour. His consuming hatred of Jews made him do it.  Président Macron wants to change the law on Intent. He says he stands with French Jews…. But it doesn’t exactly show in his actions or reflects in the behaviour of French Courts – and it might just show less in the actions of ‘future’ Présidente Marine Le Pen.

The law in the UK distinguishes between ‘voluntary’ intoxication and involuntary (someone drugs your drink): Drunken intent is still intent.

Please write to the European Court of Human Rights, on the grounds that the law which permits  such an irrational, such a bone-headed defence is contrary to Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Right to Life.

And Article 14 (‘Prohibition of discrimination’): The European Court’s guidance states that ‘In cases where there is an allegation of racially motivated crime it is particularly important that investigation is pursued with vigour and impartiality, having regard to reassert continuously society’s condemnation of racism and to maintain the confidence of minorities to protect them  from the threat of racist violence.

(The Court has ruled that treating racially induced violence and brutality on an equal footing with cases that have no racist overtones would be turning a blind eye to the specific nature of acts that are particularly destructive of fundamental rights.  Failure to make a distinction in the way situations that are essentially different are handled, may constitute unjustified treatment irreconcilable with Article 14 of the Convention on Human Rights).

France has always been regarded as one of the most civilised of European countries. The country of romance, sophistication, bon cuisine, er…………….. Aussi la guillotine, and of course Foie gras …. and if you can force feed a goose until its liver bursts to flavour your toast , you are probably, over the centuries, capable, of putting your knee on the neck of the Jewish race.

Under such blind and bigoted injustice we too cannot breathe – Nous ne pouvons pas respirer!