Arrest made for attack on Bosnian Jewish leader

March 21 attack on Eli Tauber occurred while interviewed about Jewish community by National Geographic

Eli Tauber speaks after he was attacked, March 2015 (YouTube screenshot)
Eli Tauber speaks after he was attacked, March 2015 (YouTube screenshot)

JTA — A man has been arrested in connection with an attack on Bosnian Jewish leader Eli Tauber.

Tauber was attacked by a man wielding a weighted chain at a cafe in central Sarajevo, in front of many witnesses. The attack, widely reported in the Bosnian media, occurred on March 21. It took place while journalists from National Geographic magazine were interviewing Tauber about the status of Jews in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The motive for the attack has not yet been determined, but it has received high-profile coverage by local media out of fear that Tauber was attacked because he is a prominent member of the Jewish community.

“If he was attacked because he is Jewish and because as such he is present in our media, just because he is doing his job, then it would be a very bad sign both for Sarajevo and for Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Jakob Finci, president of the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, told

He said it is the first such attack on a Jewish person in Sarajevo 70 years.

Tauber has asserted that the attacker, identified as Ahmet Fočak, intended to kill him.

Tauber recently established a foundation to promote Jewish culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is also an advocate for promoting the truth about the suffering of the residents of Sarajevo during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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