CRIF, the umbrella group of France’s Jewish communities, called on the general public to attend a commemoration on the first anniversary of the slaying of four Jews in a Paris kosher supermarket.
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CRIF made the call in a statement published Monday on its website, which said the event planned for January 9 at the Hyper Cacher supermarket on Paris’ eastern outskirts was also meant to commemorate the 13 people who died in terrorist attacks committed by Islamists on January 7 and 8.
“Let us show up in large numbers to honor the memory of the 17 victims of the January killings,” CRIF wrote. The Hyper Cacher murders followed the slaying of a police officer the previous day by the same shooter and the killing of 12 the day before that at the office of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.
Last month, the French Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy said during a speech at the CRIF national convention that attendance at CRIF’s commemoration events for the Hyper Cacher killings’ anniversary will be a “test for France.”
“I do not know whether the Republican March changed France,” he said of a march by hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen through Paris on January 11 in memory of all the victims of the attacks. “Some say France marched for Charlie, not for Hyper Cacher. I do not know if this is true. We should look to see how much of France shows up for the commemoration event to find out the answer.”
In its statement, CRIF added: “A year has passed, a testing year for France, for all those affected by terrorist fanaticism. We will never forget the terrible month of January 2015, for which a whole nation mourned. In this context, CRIF, with the participation of the authorities, is organizing a gathering of unity and republican values,” CRIF wrote in reference to the core values of the French Republic.