A 28-year-old French Jewish man was beaten on a Paris Metro train Sunday, JTA reports. The attack took place on a west-bound train from Nogent Sur Marne to Gare de Lyon and was reportedly carried out by four unidentified Arab men, according to France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, known by the acronym BNVCA. The victim, an Orthodox Jew identified as A. Levy, was strangled and beaten and sustained several injuries.
His attackers shouted the Arab word for “Jews” before attacking Levy, who is a religious Jew belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the report said. One of them also told him: “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country,” according to the report.
That phrase is eerily similar to the refrain chanted by anti-government protestors in Paris in January—“Jew, France is not yours”—and suggests an attempt to dissociate the country’s Jews from their French nationality.
Earlier today we reported that leaders of France’s Jewish community have called for the immediate election of a chief rabbi (the post has been filled temporarily since the former chief rabbi resigned amid scandal in April 2013) in light of the escalating anti-Semitism in the country. Incidents like this one—which seem to be occurring with disturbing frequency these days—likely serve to only heighten the fears of Jews in France.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.