Words of remembrance circulated on social media to mark the 15th anniversary of the kidnapping of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old French Jew who was murdered by an antisemitic gang in 2006.
“Ilan Halimi was kidnapped 15 years ago, then tortured and murdered in one of the most brutal antisemitic attacks in France in recent memory (and there have been many),” tweeted Washington Post columnist James McAuley. “Spare a thought for him today.”
Halimi, who lived in the Paris suburb of Bagneux with his mother and sister, was kidnapped on January 20, 2006. He spent three weeks in captivity as gang members tortured him and tried to extort his relatives for ransom money. Left close to death near a railway track on the city’s outskirts, he perished on his way to the hospital.
Francis Kalifat — president of CRIF, the country’s EJC affiliate, the communal — wrote on Twitter, “I think of his family and all the victims of #antisemitism. Neither forgiveness nor forgetting.”
Le 20 janvier 2006 #IlanHalimi était enlevé, séquestré, torturé et assassiné 24 jours plus tard uniquement parce qu’il était Juif. Son calvaire nous oblige. Je pense à sa famille et à toutes les victimes de #antisémitisme. Ni pardon ni oubli. pic.twitter.com/4wte7hPjrb
— Francis Kalifat (@FrancisKalifat) January 20, 2021
The European Jewish Congress also recognized the anniversary, writing in a tweet: “May his memory be a blessing.”