French Police Kill Suspect in Synagogue Arson

French Police Kill Suspect in Synagogue Arson
Image copyright: Remon Haazen/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Early on Friday, French police shot and killed a man suspected of setting a synagogue on fire in Rouen, France, located in Normandy.

  • Armed with a knife and a metallic tool, the man, reported to be an Algerian citizen appealing an expulsion order, threatened officers before being fatally shot.

The Spin

Narrative A

An attack on the Jewish community of France is an attack on all of France. French Jews are facing a climate of danger and fear. These antisemitic acts and their implied message that Jews do not belong in French society are abhorrently wrong. The fight against rising antisemitism should be a moral obligation for all French citizens.

Narrative B

While the burning of a synagogue is likely a blatantly antisemitic act, the exact motivations of the suspect are still unknown. The man was in France undergoing medical treatment, and while authorities were looking for him due to an expulsion order, he was not known to be dangerous. Since he was shot and killed and is not able to defend himself at trial, a full investigation must be undertaken before people make assumptions.

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