French-Jewish teacher arrested for lying about anti-Semitic attack

Cnaan Liphshiz

Members of Marseille's Jewish community outside the city's Great Synagogue, Oct. 15, 2012. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

Members of Marseille’s Jewish community outside the city’s Great Synagogue, Oct. 15, 2012. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

(JTA) — A French-Jewish teacher who in November told police he had been assaulted by Jihadists was arrested on suspicion that he lied about the attack.

Rabbi Tsion Saadon was taken into custody Wednesday following the discovery of inconsistencies in his account of the alleged Nov. 18, 2015 attack, which prompted passionate condemnations by police and even by President Francois Hollande, the La Provance daily reported.

On Nov. 18, police in Marseille briefed media outlets, relaying to them the version given to them by the alleged victim. He said he was stabbed by a man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the symbol of the Islamic State terrorist group, who shouted anti-Semitic profanities at him with two other men.

Saadon, a history teacher at the Marseille’s Yavne Jewish day school, displayed what appeared to be minor injuries.


One of the two men whom Saadon said did not assault him physically showed him a picture of Mohammed Merah, the killer of four Jews in Toulouse in 2012, on his cell phone during the attack, he told police.

But the injuries that Saadon showed police as resulting from the incident were inconsistent with the version he gave, an unnamed police source told La Provance. Saadon is suspected of giving a false deposition and may be indicted, another unnamed police source is quoted as saying.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at