The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism in France has released a report which claims that two Jewish men were briefly abducted, beaten and one had his finger sawn off in Paris. The Bureau’s report is based on several police reports.
The alleged attack occurred in Bondy, a suburb in Paris. The two men, who are brothers, and who are the sons of a local Jewish leader were forced off the road by the assailant whilst driving. They are both visibly Jewish as they wear kippot.
The assailants shouted various antisemitic slurs at them, which included “Dirty Jews, you’re going to die!”
The two brothers were forced out of their car and several men of “Middle Eastern appearance” emerged from a “hookah café”.
The men proceeded to severely beat the two brothers. One attacker then allegedly sawed off one of the Jewish men’s fingers.
Both brothers were hospitalised and were reportedly in a state of shock after the attack.
This story comes against a backdrop of increasing antisemitism in France. Last year we reported that a 13-year-old Jewish boy has his kippah turn off and was beaten by attackers shouting “dirty Jew” in Paris. In December, another Jew was beaten by attackers also shouting “dirty Jew”, also in Paris. In Strasbourg last year, an Orthodox Jew was beaten by attackers shouting “dirty Jew, we will kill you”, and in a separate incident a Chabad Rabbi in the city was stabbed by an assailant shouting “Allahu Ackbar”, with the attacker having previously committed a similar crime. There have also been high profile terrorist attacks against Jews in France, including the 2012 massacre at a Jewish school and a shooter killing 4 shoppers and injuring nine at a Kosher supermarket. Though Jewish communities are heavily guarded in France, and indeed elsewhere, nobody can have their safety guaranteed at all times, and several incidents have called into question the provision of security, not least the assignment of a police officer who has links to multiple antisemites to the protection of a Jewish communal leader.
The situation in France is fast becoming intolerable. It is impossible for a minority community to flourish under constant threat of serious physical harm, which is evidenced by the sheer number of French Jews fleeing the country, with many making Aliyah whilst others find refuge in London. Over half of French Jews have expressed a desire to move to Israel and the country has been described as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Jew.