Popular kosher eatery near Paris defaced with graffiti saying ‘Jew’ and ‘thief’

Police arrest a suspect they say was caught in the act in CCTV coverage

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

Antisemitic graffiti, reading "Jew" and "thief," on display on the facade of Mr. Schnitz, a popular kosher eatery near Paris, on Aug. 19, 2023. (Prefecture of the 92nd regional department, Hauts-de-Seine)
Antisemitic graffiti, reading "Jew" and "thief," on display on the facade of Mr. Schnitz, a popular kosher eatery near Paris, on Aug. 19, 2023. (Prefecture of the 92nd regional department, Hauts-de-Seine)

Police in France have arrested a man they suspect of spray-painting the words “Jew” and “thief” on the façade of a popular kosher restaurant in a heavily Jewish suburb of Paris.

The graffiti, which covered the façade of Mr. Schnitz, an eatery that specializes in fried chicken breast sandwiches, was discovered on Saturday at Jules Guesde 48 in Levallois Perret northeast of Paris, the website of the Paris Match reported.

Police tracked down the suspect using CCTV footage, the report said. Police have not released details about the suspected perpetrator.

The incident prompted condemnations from senior politicians in France, where multiple violent incidents have occurred in recent years at businesses serving Jewish clientele, including the 2015 murder of four Jews at a kosher supermarket by a jihadist, who was later killed by police.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I am deeply shocked by this unacceptable graffiti.” He added that the suspect’s arrest was due to “the alertness of police officers” who tracked him down.

The security service of the French-Jewish community documented 436 antisemitic acts in 2022, a decrease from the 589 acts of the previous year but an increase over the 339 acts recorded in 2020, the security service, SPCJ, noted. Among the acts recorded in 2022 was the slaying of René Hadjadj, an 89-year-old Jewish man who is believed to have been strangled and then thrown from the 17th floor of his apartment building in Lyon. His former neighbor and friend, aged 51, is facing trial for Hadjadj’s death, which prosecutors say was the result of a hate crime by the defendant.

Hadjadj was the 13th victim of antisemitic homicide in France since the early 2000s, SPCJ wrote.

Most Popular
read more: