Shalom Life | January 17, 2015

Hyper Cacher Owner Plans Aliyah to Israel

After Friday's terrorist attack on the kosher supermarket in Port de Vinceness which left four dead, Patrice Walid has announced his intention to leave France

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 13th, 2015 in News » World

Following Friday's vicious attack on HyperCacher kosher supermarket in Port de Vincennes, which left four innocent Jewish men dead - their joint funeral was held today in Israel - the owner of the store, Patrice Walid, reportedly voiced his intention to leave France, and make aliyah to Israel.

Israel's Army Radio reported Monday that Walid was planning on leaving the moment he was discharged from the hospital, according to claims made by his brother Yoel, who said that Patrice "does not want to die in France" but to fulfill his "dream" of living in Israel.

“He is planning to take his five kids and to board the plane [to Israel] as soon as possible,” Yoel said, noting that his brother was still recuperating from bullet wounds to both his hand and stomach.

“He is in trauma, he is still unconscious. But at least he’s alive, that’s the most important thing,” he continued.

Walid was attacked amongst dozens of other shoppers when Amedy Coulibaly, a French-Senegalese national who worked in association with Said and Cherif Kouachi, stormed into the supermarket armed with an assortment of weapons, including a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

“[My brother] was supervising his staff when, at around 1:30 p.m., the terrorist abruptly burst into the shop. One of his employees was standing at the entrance and he was immediately shot and killed,” explained Yoel.

Newly exposed documents suggest that Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi, who, alongside his brother Said, killed 12 Wednesday on the attack on Charlie Hebdo, were close associates. There's also evidence suggesting that Coulibaly's original target was a Jewish school, and not a kosher supermarket. For him, one thing was for certain, and he never shied away from it: the victims of his attack would be Jewish.

Following his attack, several Israeli officials have increased their unified call for French Jews to make aliyah to Israel, including Benjamin Netanyahu. France's PM Manuel Valls, however, has decreed that if French Jews flee the country, the very soul of France would disappear. “The choice was made by the French Revolution in 1789 to recognize Jews as full citizens," he said.

In 2014, some 50,000 French Jews inquired about making aliyah, during a year that saw both increased anti-Semitism and record-breaking immigration to Israel from the country home to the largest Muslim, and Jewish populations in Western Europe.

While Patrice Walid may soon be one of them, his brother assures us that “HyperCacher will continue working."

"The Jewish community will not shut down and will not cave in to terrorists," he said. We have a lot of strength because, as Jews, we’ve been continuously attacked throughout our history [and despite it all, we have survived].”

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