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Belatedly, France grapples with the murders of two elderly Jewish women

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Published: 30 November 2018

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Two killings in Paris, one year apart, have inflamed the bitter French debate over anti-Semitism, race and religion

THE VICTIM WAS LUCIE ATTAL, an Orthodox Jewish woman who sometimes used the name Lucie Attal-Halimi. The perpetrator, who confessed to the crime, was Kobili Traoré, a Franco-Malian Muslim. He later told authorities he knew that his victim was Jewish.

In the immediate aftermath of Attal’s death, there was virtually no public discussion of her killing. With the upcoming presidential election dominating headlines, the defenestration of a Jewish woman in the 11th arrondissement of Paris was treated by the mainstream French press as a ‘fait divers’, the term used to describe a minor news story, which led to considerable outcry in the Jewish community.

But after the victory of Emmanuel Macron, the case returned to the forefront, becoming a new frontline in France’s culture wars, among the most explosive in Europe.

FULL STORY How the murders of two elderly Jewish women shook France (Guardian)

Photo: A march against anti-Semitism in Paris earlier this year (Yoan Valat/EPA)

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