(Photo by Mark Schiefelbein - Pool/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron during a joint press briefing with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People on January 9, 2018 in Beijing, China.(Photo by Mark Schiefelbein - Pool/Getty Images)
Navigate to News section

Eight-Year-Old Jewish Boy Assaulted in France

Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to condemn the attack, but words are not enough

by
Jesse Bernstein
February 01, 2018
(Photo by Mark Schiefelbein - Pool/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron during a joint press briefing with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People on January 9, 2018 in Beijing, China.(Photo by Mark Schiefelbein - Pool/Getty Images)

An eight-year-old boy was assaulted by two teenagers in Sarcelles this week. The boy was on his way to a session with a tutor, wearing a kippah, when he was knocked to the ground by the older boys, who then beat him.

Earlier this month, a Jewish teenager walking in the same Paris suburb had her face slashed by an unknown assailant, who identified her as Jewish by the school uniform she wore.

That attack coincided with the torching of a kosher grocery store in a different Paris suburb, which had been among a group of stores tagged with swastikas a week before.

The torching came on the three-year anniversary of the murder of five people in a different kosher grocery store by an attacker connected to the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

See a pattern here?

President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to condemn the most recent attack. “An 8-year-old boy was attacked today in Sarcelles. Because he was wearing a kippa. Every time a citizen is attacked because of his age, his appearance or his religion, the whole country is being attacked,” the president tweeted. “And it is the whole country that stands, especially today, alongside the French Jews to fight each of these despicable acts, with them and for them.”

It’s an eloquent statement, but it is largely meaningless unless it is accompanied by concrete measures that successfully curb these hateful attacks and address their root causes.

Jesse Bernstein is a former Intern at Tablet.

Thank you for reading Tablet.

The Jewish world needs a place like Tablet where varying—even conflicting—viewpoints can exist side by side. Our times demand an engagement with big ideas and not a retreat from them. Help us do what we do.