With just days to go until France holds its first round of presidential elections, the country’s entrenched political establishment has been accused of concealing a deadly anti-Semitic attack that saw a young, disabled man run over by a tram after having been beaten and chased by a gang of ‘youths’ in a Paris suburb.
A month and a half ago, the untimely death of Jérémy Cohen—a 31-year-old, disabled, Jewish man—in the Paris no-go suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis was presented to the public as an innocuous accident. Now, newly released video footage of the incident has revealed that the young man, who is said to have been wearing a Kippah at the time, had been a victim of brutal gang violence before his being hit by the tram car, prompting accusations that establishment politicians and their loyal press organs obscured the nature of the incident for political purposes, Le Figaro reports.
Following the revelations that have been brought to the forefront of public awareness in the wake of the video’s release, presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen (RN) on Tuesday was one of the first notable figures to level accusations against the establishment, noting that “the real question is whether there was not an instrumentalization by hiding these facts.”
“At the end of February, Jeremy Cohen was murdered, crushed under a streetcar as he fled after being beaten by a gang. What was presented as an accident could be an anti-Semitic murder. How to explain the silence on this case and its motivations?” she wrote in a Twitter post.
Presidential candidate Éric Zemmour, never one to hold back, also didn’t hesitate to express his thoughts on the tragedy.
“The pictures of Jeremy Cohen’s death are chilling,” Zemmour began. “The death of yet another one of our children and the deafening silence on the facts for the past two months appalls me. Did he die to escape scum? Did he die because he was a Jew? Why did is this case hushed up?
“Jérémy Cohen’s death is the terrifying symptom of our country’s tragedy,” Zemmour—who has spoken for years of the connection between rising anti-Semitism and mass migration from the Islamic world—added.
Zemmour’s statements came after the victim’s father, baffled by the lack of media coverage and by the sluggishness of the investigation into his son’s death, contacted his campaign, asking the team to assist in bringing increased attention to the matter.
French-Jewish MP Meyer Habib has also addressed the incident, called the images “heartbreaking,” and urged the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin to act immediately.
“The media had previously reported a ‘pedestrian being run over, but It seems like the real circumstances of Jeremy Cohen’s death, a 31-year-old Jew, were much more dramatic,” Habib, lawmaker for centrist-liberal Union des Démocrates et Indépendants (UDI), said.
The victim, who according to all witnesses, was wearing a kippah on his head, tried to escape, as the video clearly shows, from a group of bullies who attacked him. During his escape, he failed to see the tram coming toward him With only a week remaining until the first round of the presidential election, it seems like a new case of covert antisemitism is gaining momentum. In a sad coincidence, we mark today five years since the horrible murder of Sarah Halimi.
The case has caught the intention of the Jewish community outside of France as well. After hearing about the incident—and the lack of attention that had been paid to it—Israeli MP Yomtob Kahlfon echoed the sentiments provided by Le Pen, Zemmour, and Habib, also suggesting that a cover-up may have taken place.
“The incident happened a month and a half ago,” Kahlfon began. “Only now is the story is coming to consciousness in France—something that raises concerns once again about an attempt to cover up an anti-Semitic murder as happened with the late Sarah Halimi. I expect the French authorities to act to decipher the case soon and give explanations.”