Knife-wielding motorist in France suspected of threatening to ‘kill the Jew’
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Knife-wielding motorist in France suspected of threatening to ‘kill the Jew’

Man wearing Star of David pendant threatened in front of his family after confronting driver over near-collision

French police officers stand guard outside the Palais des Festivals in the southeastern French city of Cannes on May 10, 2016 on the eve of the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. AFP/ ALBERTO PIZZOLI)
French police officers stand guard outside the Palais des Festivals in the southeastern French city of Cannes on May 10, 2016 on the eve of the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. AFP/ ALBERTO PIZZOLI)

A motorist with a knife threatened to “kill the Jew” after nearly hitting a man and his family in Cannes, according to a French anti-Semitism watchdog.

The victim, identified by the Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism as B. Olivier, said the suspect assaulted him on Thursday morning while he was trying to cross a road with his wife and baby in the southern French city, the watchdog known as BNVCA said in a report Monday on the incident. Olivier reportedly said the man, who appeared to be of European heritage, failed to stop his car at the pedestrian crossing.

Passers-by prevented the driver from continuing after he narrowly missed hitting Olivier and his family, the report said, and Olivier confronted the driver, who told him to “screw his mother.”

The driver then reportedly got out of the car with a knife and advanced toward Olivier, who was wearing a Star of David pendant, shouting that he would “kill the Jew.” Olivier and his family fled the scene, the report said.

BNVCA said police were able to identify a suspect, but did not say whether he had been detained. BNVCA urged the judiciary to charge the suspect with aggravated assault in an indictment that reflects the allegedly anti-Semitic character of the incident.

Most of the physical anti-Semitic attacks on Jews in France are committed by Arabs or Muslims, according to BNVCA. But the watchdog has warned that the proliferation of attacks by Islamists on Jews in France — hundreds are recorded annually — is prompting others, including other extremists, to be more prone to violence toward members of that minority.

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