French Police Investigating Violent Assaults on Two Young Jews in Paris in Single Week
Two separate assaults on Jewish teenagers in the Paris area during the last week are being investigated by police as hate crimes, French news outlets reported on Monday.
The first incident occurred last Tuesday in Sarcelles — about ten miles north of the capital. According to news magazine Le Point, a young schoolgirl wearing the uniform of the Jewish school that she attends was approached by an older man who spoke to her in Arabic before punching her hard in the back. The girl told police that her assailant had also mimed the action of shooting a gun at her with his fingers.
Traditionally the home of a large North African Jewish community, tensions have increased markedly in Sarcelles over the last decade between Jews and a growing Muslim population. The neighborhood was the site of a full scale antisemitic riot in July 2014, when 300 mainly Muslims youths looted Jewish-owned shops and attacked a synagogue during a solidarity protest with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
A separate incident the following day was reported in the 19th arrondissement in northeastern Paris. A young man wearing a yarmulke was assaulted by three youths at a bus stop after he noticed that one of them was trying to pickpocket a laptop computer from his bag. After they spotted the young man’s yarmulke, the youths shouted antisemitic insults and pushed him to the ground, punching and kicking him as he fell.
Meanwhile, doctors, nurses, patients and other visitors to the Rothschild Hospital in Paris — named for the illustrious French-Jewish family — were greeted on Sunday morning with a lengthy antisemitic screed scrawled on one of the entrance walls.
Accusing the family of having spent World War II in the UK under the protection of then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill — who was denounced as an “Israeli” — the graffiti accused the Rothschilds’ of seeking to privatize French public housing.
“Six million gassed is on your head,” the message continued, in an apparent reference to the Nazi Holocaust. “The whole world is watching you now.”