On January 20, 2006, Ilan Halimi, chosen because he was Jewish, was kidnapped and taken to an apartment in Bagneux, France. He was held and tortured there for more than three weeks before being thrown into the woods by his executioners.
In 24 Days, a poignant memoir written by Ilan's mother Ruth, she recalls the 24 days of this nightmare during which she received more than 600 phone calls, ransom demands that constantly changed, insults, threats and pictures of her tortured son. Ruth's intuition and her own quiet inquiries led to a fuller truth behind her son's mysterious disappearance. As other attempted kidnappings in France came to light, Ruth realized what these cases have in common: All the intended victims were Jewish, and the motive was violent anti-Semitic hatred, not just money.
Originally published in France nearly three years after Ilan’s 2006 death, the manuscript has been vividly translated into English for the first time by Behrman House, in partnership with the ADL. The English-language edition comes with a new Preface from French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and Foreword by ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
A starkly candid retelling of the 2006 kidnapping and murder in what became known in France as the Halimi Affair, 24 Days is a wake-up call to the growing scourge of anti-Semitism, extremism and hate around the world. In this new English edition, Ilan’s story has been contextualized for American audiences with vignettes from recent headlines in the United States, including white supremacists marching in Charlottesville and synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, to remind readers of how anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have had deadly consequences in America as well.
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