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JERUSALEM, July 27, 2017 – Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), issued the following statement today urging French Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet to declare the April 4 murder of Sarah Halimi, a French-Jewish physician and teacher, an act of anti-Semitism, after the minister declined to do so this week:

“As an organization that helps Jews in France who wish to emigrate to Israel, we hear daily from many French Jews who no longer feel safe living openly as Jews in their native country. If the French government wants to maintain and protect its Jewish community, it must take a strong stand against rising anti-Semitism and Islamic extremist terror by declaring that the brutal murder of Sara Halimi was anti-Semitism at its most horrific.

“By refusing to acknowledge that the killing of Sara Halimi was a brutal act of anti-Semitism, the government will send a dangerous message that will echo throughout the French Jewish community and heighten the fears of French Jews who are not only angered by this terrible injustice, but deeply anxious about their community’s very future.”

Halimi was tortured and thrown out of her third-story Paris apartment to her death. The suspect, Kobili Traore, a Muslim neighbor of Halimi’s, was reportedly heard during the attack shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “Allah is great.” Next month, The Fellowship is bringing Halimi’s older brother William Attal and his family to Israel along with other French-Jewish immigrants as part of its ongoing efforts spearheading French-Jewish immigration to Israel.

About The Fellowship:

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) was founded in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel. Today it is one of the leading forces helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide – and is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel. Led by its founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $140 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised more than $1.4 billion for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto, and Seoul. For more information, visit www.ifcj.org.

For further details, contact: Ryan Greiss, Puder PR, New York: (212) 558-9400; [email protected]

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