French school shooting: Five responses to the gunman's attack

French authorities are searching for the gunman responsible for killing three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse yesterday. The event followed closely behind the murder of three French soldiers in the region. Here is a snapshot of reactions to the events from French and Jewish media.

3. It is risky to guess the motives of the killer

Pascal Parrot/Reuters
A stuffed bear is surrounded by flowers in front of the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, southwestern France on Tuesday, in tribute to the four victims killed by a gunman on Monday.

Liberation, “Dignite
François Sergent
“Whether it be at the military funeral honoring the fallen paratroopers or at a Kaddish for the slain Jewish children and their teacher, France is in mourning. It is risky to prejudge the motives of the killer who apparently used the same weapon in the series of murders. What link can one make between this anti-Semitic crime in a Jewish school, and the murder of French soldiers, two of whom are Muslim? There is nothing to substantiate the theory of racist crimes or to rule out that of a lone psychopath.

Given the current state of the investigation, in the heat of an election campaign, the candidates, and president in particular, must avoid any escalation, misinterpretation or political exploitation of these crimes.

There is a fine line between the right amount of solidarity and compassion with the Jewish community, once again a target, and co-opting the occasion. So far, candidates have toed the line. Even suspending their campaigning for a day. Facing these tragedies, national unity, often an overused concept, is the only honorable response. It is the most fitting homage to the slain; to the three soldiers, to the three Jewish children and to their professor…”

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