French Jewish library vandalized in anti-Semitic attack

Man smashes library window near Lyon, yelling ‘we’ll get all of you Jews’; police protection ramped up in Marseille

The Grande Synagogue de Lyon. (photo credit: CC-BY-SA, Alexmar983, Wikimedia)
The Grande Synagogue de Lyon. (photo credit: CC-BY-SA, Alexmar983, Wikimedia)

An unidentified man smashed a window at a Jewish library near Lyon and shouted an anti-Semitic threat.

The man took a hammer to a window at the Aleph library in Villeurbanne, near Lyon in eastern France, on Wednesday afternoon, French news website reported.

When an attendant rushed to the building’s entrance, the man said, “We’ll get all of you Jews,” before mounting a scooter that was being driven by someone else. The man was wearing a scooter helmet that concealed his face.

Police arrived at the scene approximately four hours after the attack, according to the report.

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Meanwhile, in the southern city of Marseille, which is home to France’s second-largest Jewish community, Jewish schools during working hours are under permanent police protection provided by machine-gun toting officers, the Swiss Tribune de Geneve reported Tuesday.

The added security is part of a nationwide redeployment of law enforcement agents around Jewish institutions and areas following the killing of four people last week at a kosher store near Paris, which was part of a string of terrorist attacks by Islamists that left 17 dead.

The murders prompted hundreds of thousands to attend protest marches across France.

In both relative and absolute terms, Marseille has seen fewer anti-Semitic incidents than the Paris region since the proliferation of such attacks in the early 2000s.

Months after the murder of four Jews in Toulouse, Marseille’s main synagogues and other Jewish institutions, including areas running educational programs for children, were mostly unprotected.

Commenting on the change in atmosphere, Michele Teboul, head of the local branch of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, told the daily Tribune de Geneve, “I feel something has changed. There is distress, discomfort, as though the Jews find themselves outside of this great atmosphere of national cohesion.”

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