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Tribute ceremony to Ilan Halimi: "Rising to the thrill of emotion is not enough anymore"

Along the rails of the RER C at the exit of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (Essonne), two trees in tribute to Ilan Halimi have been replanted. The ceremony to commemorate the 13e anniversary of the death of the young man who died on February 13, 2006 took place in a particular context, just two days after the profanation of the place of meditation. In the presence of the Israeli ambassador to France Aliza Bin-Noun, the prefect of Essonne, the presidents of Crif and SOS Racisme and the mayor of the city Frédéric Petitta, the students of 3e Olivier-de-Serres College of Viry-Châtillon inaugurated the morning with testimonials. "Ilan Halimi was the victim of barbarism and prejudice. […] We are all the same, regardless of our personal beliefs. We all aspire to live in a society where everyone feels safe, whatever their convictions, proclaims Jemima, 14 years old. Despite the cold February, about 300 people gathered on the road cut off for traffic for a few hours.

Read alsoIlan Halimi: from Sainte-Geneviève to Paris, the memory and the fright

Faced with two new trees and candles placed at their feet, the speeches are linked. After reading a testimony of the mother of Ilan Halimi carried by the voice of Emilie Frèche, author of the book 24 days: the truth about the death of Ilan Halimi, Mayor Frédéric Petitta speaks. "We can not accept the seed of anti-Semitism in our society. This seed that grows in our cities, in our suburbs. This seed that corrupts and rots spirits. " For those present at tribute and for the elect, the time of indignation is over. "Rising under the spell of emotion is no longer enough, planting trees or placing commemorative plaques is no longer enough. To fight with force this plague that threatens the world, we must be intractable and let nothing pass, " rebels the elected.

When Olivier Léonhardt, mayor at the time of the events and now senator, recalls in detail the torture of the young man, the assistance is collected in silence. "Since February 13, 2006, dying in France because we are Jewish is unfortunately no longer so exceptional. The country must face its own turpitude. " After a Marseillaise intoned by the schoolchildren's choir, the elected officials, associations and religious leaders lay a wreath in front of the photo of young Ilan.

Read alsoAntisemitism: an endless plague

The vandalization of the place of memory and the swastikas tagged on the portraits of Simone Veil are in all heads. Among those present was Thierry Paul Valette, co-founder of the "Rassemblement des vilets Jaunes Citizens" list. He regrets being the only member of the movement at this commemoration. "You did not put on your vest," throws a passer-by. "Do not mix everything up", responds the man who is also a member of SOS Racisme. According to him, "The big difficulty in mobilizing yellow vests is that it is becoming radicalized. Each leader and media figure of the movement must position themselves and firmly denounce antisemitic acts ". At his side, there is Dominique Sopo, president of SOS Racisme: "We are at a time when there are forms of anti-Semitism expression coagulation that are common across a range of sectors of society. Antisemitism is the ideology of morons. It is the common point of all the antisystems. Once these logics are put in place, they are hard to fight. "

Charles Delouche

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