(JTA) — The umbrella group of French Jewish communities escalated its criticism of authorities’ handling of the slaying of a Jewish woman by her Muslim neighbor, calling it a cover-up.
CRIF made the accusation in a short and poignant statement Wednesday containing four loaded questions concerning the April 4 killing of Sarah Halimi in Paris.
“The murder of Sarah Halimi was 85 days ago already and the investigation is not advancing. Why this silence? Why this omerta?” read the statement, which contained the Italian-language mafia term for a cover-up among accomplices. “What is being hidden? Why this denial of anti-Semitism?”
Prior to this week, CRIF had refrained from openly faulting the handling of the Halimi investigation, saying it was awaiting the conclusion of the police probe. In the past, it has criticized the proliferation of conspiracy theories by some Jewish groups and activists.
But that changed Monday, when CRIF President Francis Kalifat wrote in an op-ed published by Le Figaro that “there is evidence that this is a textbook case of an anti-Semitic murder but it is being covered up by an ‘omerta’ and this heinous crime has not been recognized for what it is.”
Halimi, he added, “was butchered for the sole and only reason that she was Jewish.”