Good and bad news coming out of France: while the SPCJ security organization reports a decrease in anti-Semitic acts in France in 2013, a savage attack against a religious Jew took place in Paris this week.
Four unidentified Arab assailants savagely attacked a Jewish man on a Paris train Sunday. The train was traveling from Nogent Sur Marne to Gare de Lyon, according to reports from the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.
The victim, A. Levy, is a member of the Orthodox Chabad sect. Two of his attackers held him down while a third beat and strangled him. BNVCA reported that he suffered unspecified injuries.
The attackers called him “Jew” in Arabic and one told him, “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country.” The beating ended only when another passenger announced loudly that the police were on their way. The four assailants got off the train at Chatelet-les Halles, while the victim continued to the end of the line, where he filed a police complaint for aggravated assault.
The attack homes on the heels of the release of The Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive (Jewish Community Security Service) annual report on anti-Semitism in France. Although the overall number of incidents reported decreased by 31% since 2012, the country did not achieve the significant decrease the SPCJ hoped for. In all, 423 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2013, down from 614 in 2012.
According to the report, “less than 1 percent of the population is the target of 40 percent of racist physical attacks committed in France.” While actual incidents of physical violence against the community were down since 2011, their severity increased, with an attempted double-murder included in the report. Anti-Semitic threats were lower last year than the previous year, but were higher than reported in 2011.
The report stated, “Since the year 2000— and for 14 consecutive years— the number of anti-Semitic acts in France has been very high, about 7 times higher than numbers recorded in the 1990s. During this period, six people were murdered because they were Jewish, including three young children. Antisemitism in France cannot be considered anymore as a temporary situation associated with situation in the Middle-East; it is a structural problem that has not been fought as such and has not been halted yet.”