The following story concerns a Jewish man who was beaten and robbed by two culture-enrichers in Paris back in August. Although it’s not current, I doubt that situation for Jews in Paris has improved since then.
Investigation opened into anti-Semitic aggression in Paris
A young father was severely beaten. The attack arouses indignation from politicians
by Claire-Line Nass
August 12, 2020
Thursday, August 6 at the end of the afternoon. David is going to visit his parents in the 19th arrondissement of Paris to pick up his 7-month-old daughter. As soon as he taps the code to enter the apartment building, two men slip in behind him and follow him into the elevator. Once at the floor where David’s parents live, the insults begin: “Dirty Jew! Dirty race! We’re going to kill you!” The two assailants, described by the young man of 29 years as being, “of African origin”, beat him and choke him to the point of his losing consciousness, then flee after stripping him of his valuable watch. David’s father, alerted by the noise, leaves his apartment and finds his son unconscious.
David files a complaint later in the evening. Examined by doctors at the medical-judicial unit of Creteil, he is excused from ten days of work for temporary incapacity (ITT). “He was bruised everywhere, his brow and his eye were swollen. These men could have killed him. All this, just because he was wearing a kippah!” protests Sammy Ghozlan, president of the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA). The case, assigned to territorial security, has been opened for theft with violence, in concert, and due to the religion of the victim.
An increasing problem
“We are asking that everything be done to find the attackers. We are awaiting results of fingerprints and hair traces, and video surveillance cameras on the street are in the process of being checked by police,” says Sammy Ghozlan. “If the prosecutor identifies the perpetrators, and they are brought before the criminal court, we will become a civil party,” explains Mr. Charles Baccouche, attorney for BNVCA. He notes, “In my eyes, there are way too many complaints of anti-Semitism; it is shameful that an entity like BNVCA even has to exist in 2020.”
“Since the [COVID-19] confinement, it’s worse. I receive three to six reports of anti-Semitism a day.”
— Sammy Ghozlan, president of the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA).
The attack on David is part of a phenomenon of increased anti-Semitism in France in recent years. Between 2017 and 2019, the number of anti-Semitic incidents, including threats such as menacing gestures (homicides, leaflets, or injurious letters…) against Jews has increased 121%. In 2017, 311 anti-Semitic incidents led to filing of complaints, versus 687 in 2019, according to figures in the annual report on anti-Semitism in France, issued by the Interior Ministry and the Service for the Protection of the Jewish Community.
And this trend seems to be continuing in 2020. Since January the BNVCA has filed “about 50” complaints about anti-Semitic acts or comments, “while last year it was half as many,” according to its president. “Since the confinement, it’s worse. I receive three to six reports of anti-Semitic acts a day.” The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the president of the region, Valerie Pecresse, have expressed their concern for the victim. “If he recalled that the keeper of the seals cannot intervene in an on-going affair,” Eric Dupond-Moretti wrote Wednesday evening on Twitter that he knew “the immense emotion that assails the entire Jewish community. It’s the emotion of the entire nation, and certainly mine.”