Two adolescents have been arrested in an army recruitment office for attacking a 17-year Jewish passenger on a French train travelling from Lyon to Toulouse in the south of France.
The suspects, said to be of North African origin, were seen beating a teenager wearing a Jewish Star of David on a chain around his neck. After escaping from the train they were apprehended whilst taking a test to enlist in the army.
The victim of this attack is a student at the Jewish school where three children and an adult were shot dead by Islamic fundamentalist Mohamed Merah in March.
JN1 spoke to French representative at the European Jewish Parliament, Jacques David Sebban, to see what he had to say.
French MEJP Jacques David Sebban:
“It’s the first time since, I guess, 5-6 years that we have so many acts, anti-Semitic acts…since February we have had many…attacks, and very few of them were in the news… Why I think today is…scary that we have three types of anti-Semitism in France: the first one is the old European anti-Semitism, the second one would be the Islamist anti-Semitism, and the third is the Zionist anti-Semitism…and the three of them combined create an atmosphere where Jews feel uncomfortable and have to defend themselves.”
The French Interior Ministry has promised tough sanctions on the perpetrators and warned of a significant increase of anti-Semitic crimes. According to government statistics the number of anti-Semitic attacks has grown by 46% on last year.