Paris, France — A rabbi was insulted and attacked Thursday morning at the Paris North train station by a young man who beat him.
According to well informed sources, Elie Dahan, who is the rabbi of the community in northern France, was violently attacked by a 20-year-old Black man while walking in the corridors of the Paris north station.
Dahan declared: “I arrived from Lille and was walking in the Paris station when the man, who was accompanied by a woman, looked at me and shouted: dirty Jew, you are looking at me. I will knock you dirty Jew.”
“He then knocked and punched me before running away,” he added.
“My glasses were broken and my eye started bleeding. Several people try to catch the aggressor but he escaped.”
The man could not be identified, police said.
“I was surprised by this attack. I think the guy wanted to show off with his girlfriend. With my beard and hat, he told himself: here a Jew to beat,” Dahan said.
He was brought to a nearby hospital for treatment. “For now it’s ok but I don’t know how I will react to the shock,” the rabbi said.
The national bureau of vigilance against anti-Semitism denounced and condemned the anti-Semitic aggression.
A well informed source told European Jewish Press that the attack was probably filmed by control cameras in the station.
CRIF, the umbrella body of French Jewish organisations, said it was deeply upset by the attack.
France has been troubled by a number of anti-Semitic incidents in recent months and the country was shocked by the murder last year of Ilan Halimi, a 22-year-old Parisian Jewish by a group of suburban kidnappers.
CRIF reported earlier this year there had been a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2006, partly due to last year’s war in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah.
Earlier this month, dozens of Jewish gravestones were desecrated and damaged in a cemetery in the northern city of Lille.
A 33-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday but police said his motivations appeared ’confused’ rather than religious and they suspected he may have been drunk.