Paris Jew says he was beaten in robbery-turned-hate crime


(JTA) —  Several men allegedly assaulted and robbed a Jewish man in Paris, who said that the attackers had hit him because he was wearing a star of David pendant around his neck.

The incident occurred at around 3 a.m. on Monday morning, the victim told police, according to a report by the France Bleu radio station. The man was not named in the report.

The complaint, as summarized by the radio station, said the man was crossing the Alexandre III bridge over the Seince river in Paris’ center, near the prestigious Champs-Elysee Avenue and shopping area.

A man on a scooter drove up to the Jewish man and yanked the pendant off his neck from behind, in what up to that point appeared to be a random a grab-and-run robbery, the man said. But upon seeing the chain had a star of David pendant, the alleged culprit shouted “dirty Jew” at the complainant, he told police.

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A second scooter arrived with a driver and a passenger, who descended and started beating the complainant, he also said. The attackers, who have not been identified, then stole the man’s cell phone and wallet, he told police.

In addition to anti-Semitic assaults motivated purely by racist hatred, French Jews have reported an increase in the number of incidents featuring both financial and hateful incentives. Some of these cases are robberies where the victims were selected because they are Jewish, whereas others began as random criminal acts before escalating into violent assaults following the perpetrators’ discovery of the victim’s Jewish identity.

Mireille Knoll, an octogenarian Holocaust survivor, was stabbed 11 times in her apartment in Paris in March before her home was set on fire, allegedly by a neighbor and his accomplice who singled her out because she was Jewish.

In 2014, three men broke into the home a Jewish family they had singed out for their faith. One of the men raped a young woman during the robbery.

Last year, five men are believed to have broken into the home of Roger Pinto, a communal Jewish leader in Paris, where they interrogated them for hours, allegedly saying they had singled them oput for the robbery because they are Jews.

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