New Anti-Semitic Attacks in France

The American Jewish Congress-Council for World Jewry has issued a protest against the most recent spate of attacks on French Jews.

Over the weekend of March 3-5, Jews were attacked in three separate occasions in the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles.

On Friday afternoon, a local rabbi’s 17-year-old son was attacked by two men near the synagogue, and suffered a broken nose and an 18-year-old man was attacked by a group of five men, who insulted him and stole his cell phone. On Saturday night, a 28-year-old man wearing a kipah was verbally and physically abused by four men and suffered a dislocated shoulder. Arrests were made in the last attack.

“Council leaders visited Sarcelles just over a year ago and learned first hand of the threats the Jewish community there faces every day,” said Chairman Jack Rosen. “There is a large concrete barrier protecting the community center and barbed wire fences surrounding the community Jewish school.”

“For months we’ve been warning that the situation of French Jewry remained dire. Others were lulled into complacency by the drop in attacks on Jews in 2005 as compared to 2004 combined with a new frankness on the part of top French government officials in acknowledging anti-Semitism. The fact is that despite progress made, the basic problem is getting worse.”

Two French political leaders, who may be in the running for their respective party’s presidential nominations, both denounced the new attacks. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announced he was dispatching police reinforcements to Sarcelles. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister and parliamentary deputy from Sarcelles, said, “Anti-Semitism is on the rise in our country and it would be wrong to not want to see this.”

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