French President Emmanuel Macron, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet in cabinet meeting, 2018..
(photo credit: MICHEL EULER / REUTERS)
Dear Madame Nicole Belloubet, French justice minister,
On behalf of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s more than 3,000 French members and its members worldwide, we are shocked at the cancellation of the court sentence against Holocaust denier Alain Soral (aka Alain Bonnet), in direct violation of the Gayssot Act of 1990.
• The January 2018 release of the main suspect in the 1980 Copernic Synagogue bombing, Hassan Diab, who did not have a passport, was on the US “no-fly list” and had appeals pending against him. His extradition from Canada for trial in France ended with his inexplicable release and surfacing a few days later with his family in Ottawa.
• The March 2018 murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll – stabbed 11 times and then set ablaze by her 29-year-old neighbor and his friend, heard shouting “Allahu akhbar.” The friend was acquitted and the neighbor, apparently, released from prison after serving six months.
• The April 2017 murder of 65-year-old Sarah Halimi, by her 27-year-old neighbor – beaten and thrown from the third-floor balcony to her death, while he was shouting “Allahu akhbar.” Claiming insanity, he was sentenced to psychiatric hospitalization.
• BDS anti-Zionist agitators were discharged, despite the 2003 “Lellouche Law” on anti-discrimination and against incitement to hatred law, which is a credit to France and a model to all of Europe.
• Cases of young vandals, freed after attacking synagogues and other sites, with a simple warning. This “revolving-door” practice is reportedly due to magistrates being convinced that “victims of racism cannot be perpetrators of hate crimes.”
Madame Justice Minister, we urge your ministry to act according to the values enunciated in the May 8 Victory in Europe Day national holiday.
On March 30, our center exposed the disdain held by many for Soral among the leaders of a far-right rally in the Paris suburb of Rungis, claimed as part of the ongoing yellow-vest demonstrations. The denial of justice for his Holocaust denial, by the public prosecutor, has now made him into a resurrected hate hero.
Madam Minister, this 74th anniversary of the end of Nazi occupation and of World War II cannot be sullied by such appeasement and liberation for neo-Nazis and antisemitic hate-mongers. Alain Soral is an insult to all those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom we cherish this day.
The writer is director of international relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
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