Israeli hate crime stirs French fears

Jews in France are fearing reprisals for the nationalistic murder of an Arab taxi driver by a French immigrant to Israel.

On Wednesday, a leader of CRIF, the community’s umbrella group, denounced Julian Soufir, who confessed to stabbing Taysir Karaki to death in a Tel Aviv apartment, saying the hate crime could stoke anti-Semitism in France.

“I think we shouldn’t talk about the murder too much in France because it could affect what is happening here,” Meir Habib told Ma’ariv in an interview. “Do you remember when that small child, Mohammed al-Dura, was killed in Gaza? It greatly increased the number of anti-Semitic incidents in France.”

Habib said members of the community don’t know Soufir, who was described in the Israeli media as violently racist and as having recently become religious. Soufir’s brother is also under arrest for complicity in the killing.

“This young man is apparently sick,” Habib said. “Who brings a father of five over to drink coffee, and then slaughters him? It’s a terrible murder.”

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