Silence in Paris
As every married person knows, silences can be pregnant with meaning, even if the meaning is not immediately clear. The silence in the French press about a recent startling event in Paris is surely pregnant with meaning. On Monday, April 3, an Orthodox Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, a doctor aged 66, was thrown out of a window to her death by an African man aged 27. He was her neighbor in the flats where she lived. According to witnesses, whose testimony has yet to be confirmed, the man, who had been harassing her with insults for several days, shouted “Allahu akbar!” as he threw her.
But why the silence in the press ? The case was certainly dramatic enough to be worthy of a mention under the rubric of faits divers. I happened to learn of it only through a Parisian neighbor, a Jewish shopowner. The story had appeared in La Tribune juive, and probably caused a shudder among French Jews, all the greater because of the silence of the press about it.