PARIS – Men attacked a 17-year-old boy wearing a kippa and tzitzit ritual
fringes on a train in southern France on Wednesday.
The boy, a student at
the same Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse where Islamist terrorist Mohamed Merah
killed four Jews on March 19, was on his way to visit his family in Lyon when “a
group of other young men started to insult him [and] harass him before beating
him up near the toilets,” police said.
The suspects were identified and
arrested on Thursday.
The attack only ended when a passenger and a
The victim was hospitalized in Lyon and sent home,
then pressed charges against his aggressors at a police station in the
Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned the “anti-Semitic
aggression” and called for a “fight against all the resurgences of this strong
evil that is the anti-Semitism in our country.”
“The number of acts is
rising, their violence too, [since] the killings perpetrated by Mohamed Merah,”
According to the French Jewish Community’s Protection Service,
there were more than 90 anti-Semitic incidents in the country during the 10 days
that followed March 19’s shooting.
And on June 2, three Jewish teenagers
– a girl and two boys wearing kippot – were attacked
in Villeurbanne, a town
with a large Jewish population near Lyon. They were insulted and beaten by
attackers of foreign origin who used racial slurs. The victims were hospitalized
before being sent home.
Johan Sportouch, the secretary of the Union of
Jewish Students, declaimed after the Villeurbanne incident “the resurgence of
anti-Semitic acts in France.
“Jewish citizens are a recurring
target. Since the Toulouse Affair one can no longer underestimate the
seriousness of anti-Semitic aggression,” he said.