4 Killed Outside Jewish School in Southern France

A gunman killed four people including three children after opening fire outside a Jewish school early Monday morning in the city of Toulouse in southern France. French authorities are currently seeking the shooter who escaped on a motorbike — the same motorbike on which a man rode away last week after killing three French paratroopers and critically wounding a fourth in two separate shootings in Toulouse and the nearby city of Montauban. All the soldiers were from a unit that had served in Afghanistan and were Caribbean or black.

Police said the killer initially used a 9mm gun that jammed, after which he switched to a .45 calibre weapon, the same gun that was used in all three attacks against the paratroopers.

Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old French-Israeli rabbi, and his two children, aged 3 and 6 years old, were killed this morning. Sandler had only joined the faculty of the Ozar Hatorah private Jewish secondary school last September. The Guardian says that the killer stepped over their bodies and then pursued the 7-year-old daughter of the principal, “grabbed her by the hair, pulled her to him and shot her at close range.” Myriam Monsonego died in her father’s arms. A 17-year-old boy was also wounded and is now in critical condition in the hospital but is expected to survive.

The last such lethal attack on Jews in France was in 1982, when the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant in Paris was bombed, killing six people and wounding 22. In 1980, a terrorist group threw a bomb at a Jewish synagogue in Paris, leaving four dead and wounding about 40. But young children were not the targets in these attacks.

Writing in the Guardian, Flachra Gibbons underscores how the killings have occurred at a time when French politicians have been using a “language of hatred”:

Claude Guéant, the interior minister who took personal control of the investigation, has been the most consistently xenophobic, championing the superiority of European Christian civilisation over lesser cultures who force their women to cover up – yes, observant Jews and Muslims, he meant you. The nadir came last week when Sarkozy’s new immigration chief Arno Klarsfeld – the eldest son, ironically, of Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld – called for a wall to be built between Greece and Turkey to save Europe from barbarian invaders.

Today in Toulouse we have been given a horrific illustration of where such delirious cynicism can lead. All of those who have been shot or killed in and around the city in the past eight days have had one thing in common. They are from visible minorities.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that all of the dead are Israeli-French nationals and will be buried in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin has condemned the crimes as a “a loathsome murder of Jews, which included small children.”

According to the BBC, investigators are now undertaking “one of the biggest manhunts” in recent history in French and pursuing two lines of inquiry, “an Islamist motive or the far right.” President Nicolas Sarkozy has declared the killings a “national tragedy” and placed the southwestern region of France on the highest level of terrorist alert, while guards have been stationed outside all faith-based schools, including those for Jewish and Muslim students. Sarkozy has said that an “anti-Semitic” motive appears obvious. All candidates in France’s presidential race including opposition Socialist candidate Francois Hollande and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen have suspended campaigning. Sarkozy has said that he will not resume campaigning until after Wednesday when he has attended the soldiers’ funerals.

France’s Jewish community is estimated to be about 500,000 and is the largest in Western Europe; Toulouse’s Jewish communities is one of the largest in France, says the Guardian. The country also has the largest Muslim population, of some 5 million.

Said one father in tears outside the Ozar Hatorah school,

“Just because we are different doesn’t mean we should be killed.”


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Photo: AP/Jacque Brinon


John Duqesa
Past Member 5 years ago

Ifa P

I hope that you noticed that the first 3 victims of this maniac who were from ethnic minorities and Muslims hardly rated a mention in the international media. However, the moment Jews were killed it became a huge scandal in our Zionist news sources.

Ifa P.
ifaIfa mesan5 years ago

Muslims in Palestine dieing ever day from Jewish terorrist. youth who are deffending their homes and FAMILIES are cout and their bones are smashed with stones by the Jewish soldiers. and world watching ..How ? why?

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

Noted with sadness!

Joy Leftow
Joy Leftow5 years ago

My mantra again focuses on man's inhumanity to man.

This is how they control us, by turning man against man through using prejudice. Right now there are mostly the have's and have nots. When you have it makes no difference about your color, religion, or beliefs. For the have nots - hate and prejudice are fed to increase frustration and to keep our minds from where they should really be focused.

Lisa Partin
Lisa Partin5 years ago

Man I just wish people would just stop hating and killing other people little children don't do anything to anyone

John Duqesa
Past Member 5 years ago

Patrick F

"Beth S. Hate mongers are the bane of humanity. Just look in the mirror."

Nice one.

John Duqesa
Past Member 5 years ago

What are you babbling about Muriel C?


B’Tselem’s figures contradict those presented by the army. The discrepancy is particularly
blatant concerning minors. According to B’Tselem’s findings, 252 minors under age 16 (boys
and girls) who did not take part in the hostilities were killed, and 111 women and girls over
16 were killed. B’Tselem has copies of birth certificates and death certificates along with
other documents regarding the vast majority of the minors who were killed. Also, the
organization received photos of 45 of them from the parents.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Beth S. Hate mongers are the bane of humanity. Just look in the mirror.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Your comments are still atrocious, they were all bashing Islam BEFORE anybody knew he was a RADICAL Muslim. And now you come here with the I told ya so attitude as if all Muslims were radicals. By this logic, all Christians are terrorists too, Anders Behring Breivik is a devote Christian.

Muriel C.
Muriel C5 years ago

Well, John D. it turns out it is an Islamist after all. Catherine Ashton, who as usual, put in parallel between the "children of Gaza" (actually only one child died as collateral victim in Gaza during the last skirmish. Of the two other purported "children victims of Israel", one died in a car accident in 2006 and the other of a Palestinian bullet shot in "celebration") and the Jewish victims of terrorism, had to retract her scandalous speech after it was echoed by the murderer's claims, thereby turning into an a-posteriori justification and apology of crime.