People attend a gathering, organized by CRIF Jewish organisation, in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor stabbed and burnt in her Paris apartment in what authorities suspect could be an anti-Semitic murder, in Marseille, France March 28, 2018.
(photo credit: JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER / REUTERS)
The World Jewish Congress responded to a violent antisemitic attack against a woman in Paris Tuesday.
The WJC said it was extremely concerned and that it stands with the French Jewish community and deplores “this vicious act of hatred against an innocent woman,” and called on governments across Europe to improve security for their Jewish communities.
“It is inconceivable that the Jewish community in France, or elsewhere, should have to brace themselves each day against potential threats, or have to live in fear or trepidation simply because of their identity,” said WJC CEO and Vice President Robert Singer.
“The European Union’s recent survey, finding that 40 percent of European Jews are worried about being physically attacked
, should serve as a serious impetus to authorities across the continent to follow through with their declaration to upgrade the security of Jewish community and ensure their safety and well-being.”
The victim told police on Tuesday that two teenagers hurling antisemitic insults robbed and hit her on a main street of a Paris suburb.
The woman, aged 20, said in her complaint to police that the incident happened Monday in the heavily Jewish suburb of Sarcelles north of Paris, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, or BNVCA, wrote in a statement Tuesday.
Prying her cellphone out of her hands, the two assailants, whom she said were black, hit her face while saying: “Are you afraid, you Jewess?” she told police. A passerby intervened, allowing the woman to flee to her home with a broken nose and bloody face, the report said. She was on her way home from work, she also said. The two alleged assailants fled the scene. BNVCA called on police to investigate and apprehend the suspects.
France has seen an increase of 69 percent in the number of antisemitic incidents in the first 10 months of 2018 over the corresponding period last year, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said last month.
In addition to anti-Semitic assaults motivated purely by hate, French Jews have reported an increase in the number of incidents also featuring robbery. Some of the victims were selected because they are Jewish, while others began as random criminal acts before escalating into violent assaults after the perpetrators discovered the Jewish identity of their victims.