When Words Become Actions: The Brutal Murder of Mireille Knoll
It should come as little surprise at this point to hear anti-semitism across the globe is on the rise.
Hostility against Jews comes from all fronts, be it far right loons like the Klan and David Duke or far left loons like Hamas and Ilhan Omar (who Duke ironically commonly retweets and supports… birds of a feather).
But while America has certainly proven to be a hotbed of anti-Semitism from highly questionable comments coming from political figures to violent massacres at places of worship its very much worth noting this is merely part of a concerning global trend. In fact, quantitatively the year of 2018 was one of a significant rise in violent acts against Jews worldwide. The Associated Press explains,
“Israeli researchers reported Wednesday that violent attacks against Jews spiked significantly last year, with the largest reported number of Jews killed in anti-Semitic acts in decades, leading to an “increasing sense of emergency” among Jewish communities worldwide.
Capped by the deadly shooting that killed 11 worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, assaults targeting Jews rose 13% in 2018, according to Tel Aviv University researchers. They recorded nearly 400 cases worldwide, with more than a quarter of the major violent cases taking place in the United States.
But the spike was most dramatic in western Europe, where Jews have faced even greater danger and threats. In Germany, for instance, there was a 70% increase in anti-Semitic violence.”
The Killing of Mireille Knoll
Across the Atlantic in Europe, particularly in countries currently embroiled in difficult demographic adjustments due to mass migration, being a Jew has become increasingly dangerous.
One would be hard pressed for example to observe that aforementioned stunning *70%* increase of violence against Jews in Germany over the course of a single year and not at least note its correlation with rapidly shifting demographics induced in the country by such crises abroad as the Syrian and Libyan civil wars.
While this certainly doesn’t serve as a universal condemnation of migrants, it’s important to understand that this rise in anti-Semitic violence is inextricably intertwined with the inundation of European society with (mostly well-meaning) people that nonetheless have spent their lives in societies where advocating hatred of Jews is a regularity. The unavoidable consequence of this combined with the digitalization of media meant to radicalize is an uptick in extremist terror across Europe as we’ve observed the last few years.
To ignore this out of a desire to maintain a veneer of political correctness; to do nothing to assuage the implicit danger of the situation, is not only unacceptable it’s gotten people killed, often in appalling fashion.
One such case is the tragic and disgusting murder of French woman Mireille Knoll; who survived the Holocaust only to be stabbed and burned to death in her home by two Muslim neighbors in their 20s allegedly hailing from North Africa. The NewYorkTimes reports,
“The body of the woman, Mireille Knoll, was found on Friday in her apartment in the city’s working-class 11th Arrondissement. She had been stabbed to death, and her body was partly burned after her attackers apparently tried to set fire to the apartment.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said on Monday that Ms. Knoll had been killed because of the “membership, real or supposed, of the victim of a particular religion” — a roundabout way of saying she was killed because she was Jewish.
Ms. Knoll was a child in Paris when, in the summer of 1942, the French police, cooperating with the Germans, rounded up thousands of the city’s Jews, stuffing them into a cycling stadium, the Vélodrome d’Hiver. Virtually all were subsequently murdered at Auschwitz.”
While the facts of Ms. Knoll’s meaningless slaughter certainly captured the interest of the press, the grim reality is its merely part of a trend within France. NewYorkTimes continues,
A number of anti-Semitic episodes have shaken France, including the murder last year of Sarah Halimi, an elderly Jewish woman, by a man of Malian origin who shouted, “God is great” before throwing her out a window.
Other anti-Semitic crimes that have rattled France include the 2015 attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris by Amedy Coulibaly, a heavily armed Frenchman, who killed four people, and the 2012 assault on a Jewish school in Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, who killed three children and a teacher after killing three soldiers.
The Paris prosecutor’s office declined to characterize the origins of the two people; Mr. Kalifat said the principal suspect was of North African origin.
“These are not just thugs,” Mr. Kalifat said. “She was attacked because she was Jewish. This is what characterizes anti-Semitism in our country.”
Regardless of root cause, the unshakable and foreboding reality is the Jewish communities across the globe now face times – in a sad twist of irony – that are perhaps the most dangerous since the world supposedly learned the lesson of their attempted eradication over half a century ago.
Mireille Knoll survived the Holocaust, but we should all take note that the pervasive nature of anti-Semitism denied her survival of modernity.