A Jewish man, 89, is thrown to his death from a high floor by his Muslim neighbour in the French city of Lyon: police immediately rule out an antisemitic motive. But new evidence shows that the murderer had a history of making violent threats and may have been an Islamist with an unhealthy interest in Jewish conspiracy theories. Ben Cohen writes in JNS News :
The ugly truth about France is that Jewish people are not safe from anti-Semitic attacks even in their own homes. This has been proved time and again in the last few years, most recently in the city of Lyon.
The victim, in this case, was an 89-year-old man, René Hadjaj, who resided in an apartment building in the Duchère district in the northwest of the city. On May 17, Hadjaj, who lived on the second floor, was pushed to his death from a balcony on the 17th floor by a neighbor, purportedly a friend, whom he apparently visited regularly.
Almost immediately, the police in Lyon ruled out the possibility of an anti-Semitic motive behind the brutal murder of a man known locally as “Tonton René” (“Uncle René”). The swiftness of this announcement infuriated French Jewish activists countering anti-Semitism, among them the Paris-based National Vigilance Bureau (BNVCA), which began researching the social-media profile of the accused killer, 51-year-old Rachid Khechiche, a Muslim of Algerian background. Sure enough, a search of his Twitter feed revealed an unhealthy interest in the sayanim conspiracy theory.