Protesters gather outside the French Embassy in Tel Aviv to demand justice for the late Sarah Halimi, April 25, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90) (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Sarah Halimi protest

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Over 25.000 people gathered for justice at Place Du Trocadero in Paris. Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, London, and Rome also held rallies.

By David Aghiarian, United with Israel

Thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday following the monstrous decision of the French Court of Cassation’s Supreme Court of Appeals not to prosecute Kobili Traore, the murderer of Sarah Halimi.

Called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, the main rally in Place Du Trocadero in Paris was attended by more than 26.000 people. Other French cities like Marseille and Strasbourg also had demonstrations under de banner “Justice for Sarah Halimi.”

In Tel Aviv, a giant crowd gathered in front of the Embassy of France. “Justice for Sarah Halimi,” “Jewish Lives Matters” and “Shame on France” are some of the messages carried by the protesters.

Omer Yankelevitch, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, joined the crowd in Tel Aviv and said that “around the world,” the Jewish people “stand united in solidarity with the Halimi family and the French Jewish community.” She added that Israel will to everything in its power to ensure the security of the Jewish people in the Diaspora.

“Sarah Halimi was murdered only because she was a Jew. Especially today, with the alarming rise in radical Islamist anti-Semitism throughout France, this court ruling sets a dangerous precedent that jeopardizes the security and well-being of our brothers and sisters in France,” Yankelevich said.

The demonstration in Tel Aviv ended with the crowd chanting Hatikva, Israel´s national anthem and for generations a sign of hope for the Jewish people.

Protests Across the Globe and Online

Jerusalem, New York, Los Angeles, London, Rome, and The Hague – besides Paris and Tel Aviv – are just some of the cities where rallies were organized in defense of justice.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions, many Jewish associations and communities around the world supported the protesters through social media. In Brazil for instance, the Jewish Confederation of Brazil held a Virtual Act for Sarah.

Using the hashtags #JusticeForSarahHalimi and #JusticeForSarah, protesters around the world posted Sarah’s photo on their social media accounts. By the end of the day, those hashtags were in the trending topics in many locations worldwide.

The Sarah Halimi Case

In April 2017, French-Jewish retired doctor and schoolteacher Sarah Halimi, 65, a mother of three, was murdered in her home in Paris by a young Islamist while he shouted anti-Semitic slogans and the phrase “Allahu Akbar.” After beating her to death for almost 20 minutes, the threw her body from the third floor of the building.

Earlier this month, approximately four years after the murder, France’s Court of Cassation ruled that Traoré will not be prosecuted. According to the judges, Traore was too overcome by marijuana to be held criminally responsible.

At a time that many Jews are leaving France and other countries in Europe because they feel unsafe, the French court’s decision is a victory for anti-Semites.

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