Tree commemorating murdered French Jew is chopped down amid antisemitic spate
Essonne – A tree planted in a Paris suburb in memory of a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006 has been chopped down, authorities said Monday, confirming the latest in a series of antisemitic acts in France.
Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by a gang that demanded huge sums of money from his family, believing them to be rich because he was Jewish.
After being tortured for three weeks, the 23-year-old cellphone salesman was found dumped next to a railway in the southern suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. He died while being brought to hospital.
On Monday, municipal workers sent to prepare a memorial site for an annual remembrance ceremony this week discovered that a tree planted in his honor had been chopped down and a second one partly sawn through, local officials told AFP.
The police are investigating the incident, which the French government’s special representative on racism, antisemitism and discrimination, Frederic Potier, described as “ignominious.”