French President Emmanuel Macron reacted angrily to reports an eight-year-old boy wearing the Jewish skullcap has become the latest victim of spiralling anti-Semitic attacks in France.
Two teenagers beat the boy up in the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles on Tuesday, in what prosecutors said appeared to be an attack motivated by the child’s Jewish faith.
It comes just three weeks after a kosher supermarket in the Paris suburbs was gutted in a suspected arson attack. Israel’s ambassador to France Aliza Bin Noun called that fire a “shameful provocation,” coming as it did on the third anniversary of the January 9, 2015 attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in eastern Paris.
Macron tweeted his disgust at the attack on the Jewish boy late Tuesday.
An eight-year-old boy was attacked today in Sarcelles. Because he was wearing a kippa.
Every time that a citizen is attacked because of their age, their appearance or their religion, it is an attack on the whole country.
And it’s the whole country that must rise up today alongside French Jews to fight with them against these disgusting attacks.
Anti-Semitism has been rising in France over recent years as previous reports have shown many Jews deciding to leave the country and move to Israel instead. In 2016 alone some 5,000 French Jews decided to abandon France for Israel driving the total number up to 40,000 since 2006.
A film documenting anti-Semitism in France and Germany echoed the University of Oslo report but ended up being shelved because it was deemed to be too politically sensitive.
The documentary entitled Chosen and Excluded — The Hate for Jews in Europe showed that particularly in heavily Muslim populated Paris suburbs that Jews were constantly the targets of violence.
Sarcelles, nicknamed “Little Jerusalem” due to its large Jewish population, was rocked by anti-Jewish violence during the 2014 war in Gaza.
Several shops were set on fire or vandalised, including a kosher grocery.
AFP contributed to this report
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