Hamodia’s special correspondent in Paris interviewed Mr. Deri, whose shop is next door to the Hyper Cacher supermarket.
Please explain what happened on Friday afternoon.
I was in the shop with my son. We heard the sound of shooting and went outside to see what was happening. We saw a Jewish man running past with blood pouring down his face and I knew straightaway that it was a terrorist attack and that it must be at Hyper Cacher. We ran back inside the shop and shouted for the people on the street to come inside too. I locked up the shop and we went straight down to the basement and locked ourselves in. I called the police, who came within a minute or two. We stayed in constant phone contact with them and they told us to remain in the basement until they said we could come out.
When it was safe for us to escape, we came out through a side entrance under police cover.
Hakadosh Baruch Hu directs the world, but can you think why the terrorist didn’t come to your shop?
The police told me that the terrorist had been to the area the previous week on a reconnaissance mission. He would have noticed that my shop is on a corner with two big, clear glass windows. You can see everything that’s happening inside. The shop next door didn’t have those windows and you can’t see inside it from outside.
Did you know any of the people who were killed?
I recognized the people who worked in the shop, but I didn’t really know them.
How does it feel to stand here on the site of this terrorist attack just a few days later? Are you afraid to be here?
What’s past is past. It’s okay — we have to look to the future. We can’t do anything about what happened. I’ve had this shop for many years. An attack can happen anywhere: in London, New York, Jerusalem. Now it’s happened in Paris. Hashem runs the world — we have no need to be afraid.
What about the future of the Jews in France?
I’ve heard today that the government has put a lot of security outside schools and shuls. We’ll see what happens.
Do you appear as a Jew openly in the street?
We used to but now, no, we don’t — people are afraid.
Are you staying here?
Yes, for the time being. It would be hard for the children to move — each one is doing something different. The time will come when we will leave, maybe in 30 or 40 years!
Do you have a message for the Jewish people?
There will come a time when all Jews will be able to live in Eretz Yisrael. It is better there than in chutz laAretz.