EXCLUSIVE: Victim of Anti-Semitic Attack in France Says Similar Incidents Occur Every Week (INTERVIEW)
The victim of a brutal anti-Semitic attack in Paris late last month said assaults similar to the one he faced are a common occurrence in France.
His comments were made in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Thursday.
“This incident is not isolated. There are similar incidences every week in Paris, in the suburbs [and] in the provinces,” said the 59-year-old Jewish teacher, only identified as David. “There was another attack after mine in Paris and the general media did not mention it, only the Jewish media did. They never talk about Jews being attacked, they don’t write that ‘Jews [were] attacked by Arabs.'”
David was assaulted by three North African “Maghreb men” at 10 p.m. on March 20 after leaving a kosher restaurant in Rue Manin, Paris, and making his way to a subway station. “They started to curse me out: ‘dirty Jew,’ ‘death to the Jews,’ ‘son of a b***,’ etc. Then they started to beat me up,” he said in an interview following the incident. Then, with a marker, they drew a swastika on his bare chest.
When members of the public approached the scene of the attack, the three men fled.
David, who was wearing a yarmulke and tzitzis at the time of the assault, told The Algemeiner that no progress has been made by the police tasked with finding his attackers. He explained, “The problem is that the people who attacked me were well organized, they probably waited for me to pass by a street with no cameras.”
While David’s horrific assault made international headlines, he is disappointed with the public response it received in France.
“The interior minister, justice minister, and other ministers made no comments. Only the mayor of Paris conveyed a message of regret to a newspaper because an important person from the community advised him of the facts,” he said. “The French media related the story but conveyed doubt about the attack… It’s very hard to hear this. I was admitted to the hospital, a doctor from the police department has noted the blows…. I have medical certificates attesting and confirming the blows.”
He urged other victims of anti-Semitic crimes to file complaints, so that “people will know the truth about what is happening in France.”
David said that both he and the police believe the assault was premeditated. The area they chose was not one with a Muslim majority, but in the heart of a Jewish neighborhood, he said.
“Through this act they’ve hit the entire Jewish nation. It was hitting and humiliating a Jew in his own neighborhood to show him it’s not his place anymore,” David said. “Through violence they wanted ‘to break Jewry.’ If it wasn’t me, it could have happened to anyone else who was passing that place. In this act they did not only want to attack me personally, but to attack all Jewish people through me.”
He added that he is still haunted by the violent assault he faced. Even walking around his neighborhood evokes in him a sense of fear.
“I’m not very well. I don’t sleep good, I’m awake often… I have panic attacks, crying attacks and I’m afraid. I don’t feel safe,” he said. “When walking in the streets, I’m afraid it could happen again since they told me ‘your place is not here, it’s not finished with you.'”
For now, David plans to continue living in France due in part to “family duties,” but said he hopes to move to Israel in the near future.
Anti-Semitic attacks in France are reported with some regularity. Earlier this month Israel’s Ma’ariv reported that a young Jewish woman was assaulted at a laundromat in a suburb of Lyon by a mother and daughter of Arab descent who shouted, “Dirty Jew, go home to your country, Israel.” Two weeks ago, an Israeli man was attacked with a stun gun outside a synagogue and a week before that a French Jew was assaulted on the Metro.
The second anniversary of the infamous Toulouse attack on a French Jewish school was marked recently. Four people, including three children, were murdered in the Islamist attack.