French Jew assaulted in Marseille over Gaza

Attacker chases, threatens to kill member of Jewish community in city, then punches him in face

A view of Marseille (Jddmano/Wikimedia Commons/File)
A view of Marseille (Jddmano/Wikimedia Commons/File)

A man in his 60s was lightly wounded in an apparent anti-Semitic assault in Marseille.

The assault Tuesday began after the victim drove up to his own garage to discover it had been blocked by a parked car, the local branch of the CRIF umbrella organization of French Jewish communities wrote in its report of the incident.

The attacker showed up after the victim, who wears a kipah, sounded the horn. The attacker began chasing the victim while shouting: “Dirty Jew, this isn’t Gaza, I’m going to kill you and your family.”

Catching up to the victim as he was heading for the stairs of his apartment building, the attacker, who was much younger than the victim, began hitting the victim in his face. The attacker was joined by several other people who are believed to be relatives. He continued to attack the victim, also using headbutts.

The victim has filed a complaint with police for racially aggravated assault, the CRIF statement said. It did not say whether police have a suspect in custody.

The assault in Marseille — a city where such violence is relatively rare despite it being home to France’s second-largest Jewish community and a sizable Muslim population — comes amid a wave of anti-Semitic assaults triggered by Israel’s attack on Hamas in Gaza.

Even before the latest Israel-Gaza war, community leaders said anti-Semitism levels had reached worrisome dimensions and were spurring on record levels of Jewish emigration out of France.

From Jan. 1 to June 30, Israel saw the arrival of 2,830 new immigrants from France – nearly a 250 percent increase over the 811 French immigrants who arrived in Israel in the corresponding period in 2013.

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