A couple of days ago, I posted “Reading the New York Times Upside Down” about how an NYT article on the reportedly anti-Semitic murder of 85 year old Jewish lady Mireille Knoll kept any hint about the identity of the murderers hidden until the 12th paragraph when it finally mentioned that the prime suspect was “North African” (i.e., Muslim)
Now, the New York Times has a second article on the killing. Let’s see how long it takes for any clue to be revealed:
Mireille Knoll, Murdered Holocaust Survivor, Is Honored in Paris
By ELIAN PELTIER and AURELIEN BREEDEN MARCH 28, 2018
PARIS — Every morning, in a part of the 11th Arrondissement of Paris that has not yet gentrified, Mireille Knoll would sit at home watching television as she waited for her personal care aide.
The aide, Leila Dessante, would clean the small second-floor apartment, cook lunch and keep company with Ms. Knoll, a 85-year-old grandmother and Holocaust survivor. “She would take my face in between her hands and always ask, ‘How are you doing today, sweetheart?’” Ms. Dessante recalled on Wednesday.
Ms. Knoll’s gentle routine was brutally interrupted last week when she was killed in her apartment. The attack shocked her neighbors, France’s Jewish community and the country as a whole. Two suspects, men in their 20s, have been placed under formal investigation on charges of murder with an anti-Semitic motive.
Okay, that’s three paragraphs in. All we’ve learned about the suspects are their sex and age.
The killing has raised questions about a persistent strain of anti-Semitism in France, “an anti-Semitism that remains, that transforms, that reappears, that mutates,” according to Édouard Philippe, the prime minister.
“She survived the Holocaust in the last century, I think she had a happy life, and yet she was killed at home in 2018, frail, and defenseless,” Ms. Dessante said as she was leaving Ms. Knoll’s apartment building after laying flowers on the doorstep. “What world are we living in?”
Thousands gathered in Paris on Wednesday to honor Ms. Knoll, marching from the Place de la Nation, on the eastern side of the capital, to her apartment building, a nondescript housing block where mourners had placed candles and flowers on the railings.
Many marched in silence, waving French flags or wearing badges with a picture of Ms. Knoll. Samuel Cohen, 74, who was at the march with his wife, Léa, 70, was one of several who carried a sign that read, “In France, we kill grandmothers because they’re Jewish.”
Who exactly is the “we” in that sign? Seven paragraphs and not a hint (other than the negative hint that they would have told us if they had wanted to tell us).
“It would be a little exaggerated to say that we are not safe in France today,” Mr. Cohen said. “Yet it’s true that we are worried, that it’s become hard to practice one’s faith in some areas, and that we’ve reached a new degree of anti-Semitism with this murder.”
Government officials attended the march, as did representatives of France’s main political parties, including the head of the far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen. She has been trying to shed her party’s racist and anti-Semitic past, but was booed at the march.
In 2015, she kicked Jean-Marie Le Pen — her father, and a founder of the National Front — out of the party for reiterating comments he had made previously that dismissed the Nazi gas chambers as a “detail of World War II history.”
The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, one of the largest Jewish advocacy groups here, known by its French initials C.R.I.F., said ahead of the march that neither the far-left nor the far-right was welcome to join, arguing that anti-Semites were “overrepresented” on both extremes of the political spectrum.
But Daniel Knoll, one of Ms. Knoll’s two sons, said on Wednesday that everyone could come.
“The C.R.I.F. is playing politics, and I am opening my heart,” Mr. Knoll said on the French news channel BFM TV. “I open my heart to everybody, everyone who has a mother — which means everybody.”
“It’s unbearable, today in France, to know that someone can die like this, in such an atrocious way,” he said.
Ms. Knoll was stabbed 11 times, and her body was found partly burned after her attackers tried to set her apartment on fire. One suspect was a neighbor who had often been hosted by Ms. Knoll, while the other was a homeless friend of his.
Fifteen paragraphs …
An official close to the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said that the friend had told investigators that he had heard Ms. Knoll’s neighbor say “God is great” in Arabic during the killing. But the official said the two suspects had given conflicting statements to the police.
Okay, in the sixteenth paragraph there is finally a clue.
… President Emmanuel Macron referred to Ms. Knoll’s killing at a ceremony on Wednesday morning that paid tribute to Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame and to the other victims of a terrorist attack in southern France last week.
France “is confronted today with a barbaric obscurantism, with the only goal of eliminating our liberties and our solidarities,” Mr. Macron said, drawing a parallel between the “terrorist in Trèbes” and Ms. Knoll’s killer, “who assassinated an innocent and vulnerable woman because she was Jewish.”
I kind of like Macron’s phrase “barbaric obscurantism.” It’s at least better than “religion of peace.”