One of the victims of an anti-Semitic attack in France has come out strongly against media reports that paint his attacker as mentally unstable.
On Monday, he told a local Jewish newspaper that he and two others were assaulted because they were visibly Jewish.
The victim, an orthodox rabbi, was attacked together with his 19-year- old son and one of his congregants outside of a synagogue in Marseilles on Shabbat morning. One of the victims was stabbed several times in the abdomen and is in serious but not life-threatening condition, French daily Le Figaro reported.
Police arrested the assailant, who shouted anti-Semitic epithets at the victims and reportedly was drunk at the time of the attack. According to Le Figaro, the assailant is known to local police and is considered mentally unstable.
Marseilles, in southern France, has some 80,000 Jews, making it the second- largest Jewish community in the country. Jews make up about 10 percent of the population in the port city, which has about 250,000 Muslims.
Speaking with the Actualité Juive newspaper, the rabbi, who elected to remain anonymous, said that while he and his companions moved aside to allow their attacker to pass when they encountered each other in the street, the man punched him and his son in the chest, forcing them to the ground.
“His words are not clear, but he seemed to have uttered something that resembles 'Allahu Akbar,'” he said.