Saturday, January 22nd | 20 Shevat 5782

April 9, 2014 9:50 am

An Open Letter to French Jewry: You Are Not Alone

avatar by Robert H. Book


France anti-semitic attack victim David. Photo: David.

On March 27, 2014, I saw the picture of “David,” a 59-year-old Hebrew School teacher who resides in France.

He was viciously beaten by three Arabs aka “North Africans,” for no reason other than David is Jewish and he was coming out of a kosher restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood in Paris. These three cowards attacked David and if that is not horrible enough, they held him down and drew the Nazi swastika on his chest. What does that say about these three Muslims living in France?

As I read the article, and saw David’s picture, I was both heartbroken and angry at the same time. I cannot remain silent nor should any civilized person, Jew or non-Jew. It seems with the growing Muslim population in France, it has become increasingly dangerous for Jews to practice their religion. Many Jews have stopped wearing their kipahs in favor of a baseball cap when they go to pray or when they are in public because it is sadly too dangerous. Many synagogues have been compelled to hire armed security guards to protect their congregants on the Sabbath and on holidays.

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The French government and the media are dangerously silent on the alarming rise of attacks on Jews. The French authorities and the French people need to stand up for what is right, express their outrage with this barbaric behavior, and take immediate and appropriate action. No one should be attacked because of their religious beliefs or heritage. When is the last time three Jews went into a Muslim neighborhood and waited outside a halal restaurant and attacked a Muslim for no other reason than because of his religious beliefs? I believe we all know that is not the Jewish or the civilized way.

We Jews are non-violent but we are strong. Rest assured that “never again” is not just a tag line or an empty slogan. We mean it! We will defend ourselves and we will help hunt down these three criminals, through various resources, and will bring them to justice. “Never again” means that an attack on David in Paris is the same as an attack on any Jew anywhere in the world. I urge the Arab and Muslim community in France to help the police bring these criminals to justice and to speak out loud and clear in condemnation of this violence.

David, we stand with you and pray that this will never happen to you again or to anyone.

Finally, I applaud The Algemeiner for bringing this story to light and for the follow-up story. I urge everyone who reads this heartfelt letter to contact The Algemeiner and to let David and the Jews in France know that we stand together with them.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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