Did Jérémy Cohen die because of an antisemitic attack – or a traffic accident?

Sarah Halimi. Mireille Knoll. Ilan Halimi. Sebastien Sellam, to name just a few. Is Jérémy Cohen the latest victim of antisemitic murder in France? Video footage has recently emerged of the young man, who generally wore a kippa,  running from a gang of antisemitic youths straight into the path of a tram in the northern Paris suburb of Bobigny.

Jerémy Cohen with his parents

 The Guardian reports:  the death of a young Jewish man in Bobigny, north of Paris, has shocked France and sparked outrage among French presidential candidates, who seized on it to denounce criminality and a possible antisemitic attack. Jérémy Cohen, 31, was killed when he was hit by a tram in Bobigny in February, which was initially reported in local media as a traffic accident.

But when his family leafleted the area to see if local people had more information on what had happened, a witness came forward with video footage, which circulated online this week.

Cohen, who had a disability, was surrounded by a group of men and attacked. As he escaped, he was hit by the tram and died shortly afterwards in hospital.

After Cohen’s family spoke to Radio Shalom about the case, presidential candidates used the death to suggest the French authorities were not doing enough on the case or on crime in general, days before the first round of the presidential election.

The former TV pundit and far-right, anti-immigration candidate, Éric Zemmour, was the first politician to raise the case on social media, asking if Cohen had died because of the violence of a group of thugs. “Did he die because he is Jewish?” Zemmour asked. “Why has this affair been covered up?”

Point of No Return adds: The districts of Bobigny and Saint-Denis in northern Paris were settled by poor Jews from Tunisia and Morocco. Radicalised Arab and Muslim youth have committed antisemitic incidents in recent years, creating a climate of fear. Many Jews have moved into central Paris for greater security. Those who could afford to leave the country have made aliya to Israel.

Bobigny train station has a sinister history. From the summer of 1943 until  the summer 1944, the station, where a vast network of  freight and passenger railway tracks converge,  became the assembly point for Jews held at Drancy camp, located about 2 km away, before their deportation to  Nazi death camps. such as Auschwitz . Bobigny replaced le Bourget station. In 13 months, 22, 407 men, women and children of all ages were forced to board sealed wagons at Bobigny station. Some 76,000 French Jews were deported and murdered by the Nazis.


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