ADL Demands Justice in Stabbing Death of 85-Year-Old French Holocaust Survivor

New York, NY, March 26, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is calling for justice in the brutal murder of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was repeatedly stabbed and left burning in her Paris apartment last week. French authorities have taken two suspects into custody and have just announced that they believe anti-Semitism was the primary motive of her killers.

“Once again, an innocent person has been brutally murdered in France for no other apparent reason than the fact that she was Jewish and perceived as vulnerable,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “It is sickening to think that someone could do this to an elderly Holocaust survivor. We stand with the French community in demanding justice, and a clear message from the authorities that violence against Jews carries a heavy price.”

Knoll is the 11th person murdered in brutal acts of anti-Semitism in the past 12 years, according to French Jewish community officials, and the attack is one of several violent assaults targeting Jews in France this year alone.

The past deaths include:

  • In 2006, Ilan Halimi was kidnapped and tortured to death by a violent extortionist group known as the “Gang of Barbarians;”
  • In 2012, Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, Aryeh Sander, Gabriel Sandler, and Miriam Monsonego were murdered by a Muslim extremist at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse;
  • In 2015, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, and François-Michel Saada were murdered at the Hyper Cacher market in an attack inspired by ISIS;
  • In 2017, Sarah Halimi was beaten and thrown from her balcony by a Muslim man yelling “God is Great!”

ADL is urging all French leaders and society to participate in a silent March planned for Wednesday by the French Jewish community to express their anger and revulsion at yet another violent anti-Semitic attack and murder and to show solidarity with the French Jewish community.

“In the two decades years prior to Ilan Halimi’s murder, not a single Jew was murdered for anti-Semitic reasons,” said Sharon Nazarian, ADL Director of International Affairs. “The violence of recent years is intolerable and is causing great insecurity in the French Jewish community. It is vital for French leaders and all people to stand together in solidarity with the community. We extend our condolences to Mireille Knoll’s family and our full support to the Jewish community of France.”

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.