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Breaking: French Justice Minister to Appeal Verdict for Gang of Barbarians
Justice Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie announced that she is instructing the Procureur Général (more or less equivalent to the state’s attorney, public prosecutor, or the Bench) to appeal the verdict in the Gang of Barbarians trial. Details will follow. Members of the CRIF (Jewish umbrella organization) and other Jewish organizations are meeting with the Justice Minister this afternoon. The demonstration scheduled for 7 PM this evening to protest the verdict will now be held as a silent display of solidarity with the Halimi family and tribute to the victim of the Gang of Barbarians. Hopes are raised that the retrial will be public.
And we might add our hopes that the leaders of Jewish organizations convened to meet with President Barack Hussein Obama today will be as effective in representing the interests of the Jewish community, which—if it must be stipulated—are not contrary to the interests of the United States. It is far more difficult for Jewish leaders to counter Islamic pressure in France than for their American counterparts to stand up against the blatant anti-Zionism of the current American administration.
While commentators, community leaders, and simple citizens were quietly expressing their dismay at the court’s clemency in the Ilan Halimi murder case, the media were reporting a whole range of protests of another sort. Workers at a sub-contractor for automobile parts are threatening to blow up the factory if each worker is not awarded a 30,000 euro severance package (in addition to normal unemployment benefits). To make their threat palpable they have lined up gas canister around the premises. Friends of a kid who got killed speeding through a police barrage on a toy motorcycle (technically prohibited on the road) are threatening to give their town the same treatment meted out to the small town of Firminy, smashed and torched because a 22 year-old arrested for extortion hung himself while in police custody. Comoreans have been on the warpath ever since the crash of a Yemenia Airlines plane serving the final leg of a Paris-Monroni flight crashed killing all but one passenger. When the government arranged for an all expense paid Paris-Monroni voyage of bereaved families, voices in the Cormorean community were raised to deplore the stinginess of the gesture. “We mourn for 45 days!” they exclaimed, indignantly. Milk producers are furious at a drop in prices. Fruit growers are outraged by supermarket chain profit margins that leave them with nothing. French NGOs are screaming mad because the government is asking them to concentrate their activity in regions where French soldiers are active; the government is hoping to win hearts and minds, the better to protect our soldiers from terrorists embedded in local populations.
A 22 year-old was shot in the head last night in the St. Ouen quarter on the fringes of Paris (near the famous flea market). He died this morning, victim of tribal gang fights that go on day and night in France.
And yet, talkbacks on newspaper articles reporting dissatisfaction with the lenient verdicts for the Barbarians are flooded with vitriolic comments attacking the CRIF, the Halimi family’s counsel, and the whole Jewish community, accused of making a big stink just because “one of theirs” got hurt. Accused of manipulating the government, undermining la République, persecuting non-Jews…accused of everything but shooting the young man in St. Ouen.
All of this confirms the need for a new trial, a public trial that will speak to society and teach it how to distinguish right from wrong.