Former French prime minister says commemoration was a ‘necessary tribute’ to the ‘victims of Islamist terrorism.’
Jewish community leaders and French officials gathered on Sunday to mark the seventh anniversary of a terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, paying tribute and expressing solidarity against antisemitic violence.
Organized by the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), the main communal body of French Jewry, the ceremony took place in front of the Hyper Cacher where an Islamist gunman shot dead four Jewish hostages on Jan. 9, 2015 — Yohan Cohen, 20; Yoav Hattab, 21; Philippe Braham, 45; and François-Michel Saada, 63. A couple of days before the attack, two Islamist gunmen killed a dozen people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Multiple French politicians were present at the commemoration, among them former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who described it on social media as a “necessary tribute” to the “victims of Islamist terrorism.” Also in attendance were Marlène Schiappa, minister for citizenship; Sophie Cluzel, secretary of state for people with disabilities; Jean-Michel Blanquer, minister of education, youth, and sports; and Aurore Bergé, a lawmaker from French President Emmanuel Macron’s party.
“Murdered because they were Jews,” wrote Equality Minister Élisabeth Moreno. “Remember, always.”
Remembrance candles were also lit during the ceremony for other French Jews killed in antisemitic violence, including Sarah Halimi, a retired doctor who was beaten and thrown from her third-story Paris apartment in 2017, and Mireille Knoll, an elderly Holocaust survivor who was stabbed and set ablaze in her Paris apartment in 2018.
After a recitation from Psalms and the Mourner’s Kaddish, a Jewish prayer for the deceased, the ceremony concluded with a prayer for France, a minute of silence, and the playing of the French national anthem.