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In Toulouse, a tribute to the victims of Mohammed Merah against the backdrop of the presidential campaign

President Emmanuel Macron pays tribute to the victims of Mohammed Merah, along with former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, in Toulouse, March 19, 2022.

Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic but also a candidate for re-election, participated alongside his predecessors François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, on Sunday March 20, in the ceremony of tribute to the victims of Mohammed Merah organized by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF) in Toulouse.

Toulouse. March 19, 2012. Mohammed Merah stands in front of the Ozar-Hatorah Jewish school, since renamed Ohr-Torah. It’s just under 8 o’clock. The children rush to the entrance when he shoots Jonathan Sandler, a middle school teacher, and his 6-year-old son Arié in front of the gate. Merah enters the yard, pursues and kills Gabriel, Arié’s little brother, aged 3, then shoots a girl, Myriam Monsonégo, “Myriami”, 8 years old, in the head.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Nearly ten years after the killing at the Ozar-Hatorah school, the pain remains strong within the Jewish community of Toulouse

In his deadly epic in Toulouse and Montauban, initiated on March 11, the Islamist terrorist will have decimated a total of seven people, including three soldiers, Imad Ibn Ziaten, shot at close range after refusing to get down, as well as Mohamed Farah Legouad and Abel Chennouf, all members of 17and parachute regiment. After his crimes against those he describes as “Western miscreants”he yells ” Allahu Akbar “ (God is great).

Ten years ago, the electoral campaign, which would bring to power the socialist candidate François Hollande, was interrupted to mark the mourning of this anti-Semitic massacre. The country froze, stunned. Crushed by grief made even more heartbreaking by the details of the killing, like that pacifier Gabriel still had in his mouth or those ballet slippers that Myriami had tripped over her satchel.

In ten years, the tragedy of Toulouse has become a symbol. That of the fight “existential”, in the words of Emmanuel Macron, that every head of state must lead against terrorism, anti-Semitism and radical Islamism. Because Mohammed Merah opened “the first page of what was to happen next”, at estimated Sunday François Hollande, evoking the attacks of Charlie Hebdothen Paris and Saint-Denis in 2015.

“The first page of what was to happen next”

After the shocking messages from the relatives of the victims; after the emotion of Samuel Sandler, grandfather of Jonathan and father of Arie and Gabriel, who became, in his eyes, ” his own ghost” ; after the observation of Ness, a pupil of the confident school having, since that day in March 2012, seen his innocence and that of his comrades ” fly away “the time for politics has come.

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