Jewish man mobbed in Marseille for wearing Jewish symbol

(JTA) — A young Jewish man reportedly was lynched and mugged outside Marseille’s main train station for wearing a Star of David pendant.  

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According to La Provence, a local daily, the 20-year-old man was approached by two men on a scooter on Feb. 4 at 3:30 P.M. outside Saint-Charles, a busy train station and shopping mall.

One of the men on the scooter tore the golden chain off the victim’s neck, called him a “dirty Jew” and fled the scene on the scooter with the pendant in hand.

A group of young men standing by the victim then approached him, hurled anti-Semitic insults at him and looked through his belonging for other things to steal. According to Metro, another daily paper, they also hit the victim. They took away an MP3 player and 100 euros.

Metro reported police were treating the case not only as a robbery by mainly as an anti-Semitic attack.

The president of the Marseille metropolitan area, Eugene Caselli, condemned the incident, which he termed anti-Semitic. “I want to reassure the family of the victim and the victim of my support and extend my sympathies,” he said in a statement. “I want to express my profound indignation and rage at this unacceptable act of racist violence.”

Though France has seen a 45 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the eight months since March 2012, when an Islamist fanatic killed four Jews in Toulouse, Marseille has seen relatively few such attacks.

And from 2009 to 2011, there were twice as many anti-Semitic attacks per capita in Paris proper than in Marseille, according to an analysis of 1,397 incidents recorded by SPCJ, the security unit of French Jewish communities. Only 59 attacks were registered in Marseille in those years, compared to 340 in Paris proper.  

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