Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images
Armed French soldiers secure the access to the ‘La Source’ Jewish school in Marseille, southern France, January 12, 2016. Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images
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Jewish Teacher in Marseille Protects Himself from Machete Attack Using a Torah

On Monday a teenager attacked a teacher near a Jewish school, injuring the educator’s hand and back before police arrived

by
Jonathan Zalman
January 12, 2016
Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images
Armed French soldiers secure the access to the 'La Source' Jewish school in Marseille, southern France, January 12, 2016. Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, in the broad daylight of Marseille, a 35-year-old yarmulke-clad teacher was on his way to work at the Franco-Hebraic Institute when a 15-year-old teenager attacked him with a machete from behind. The kid, who will turn 16 next week and has been described as a “good student,” first reportedly stabbed the teacher in the back/shoulder area, before a short chase ensued. The teacher soon fell to the ground, near “La Source” Jewish day school, and, when the assailant continued his rampage, the man defended himself by kicking, and he used a torah he was carrying for protection. The attacker soon fled and was apprehended by police about ten minutes later.

A police spokesperson reportedly called this event “clearly anti-Semitic,” while the city’s prosecutor vowed to act “with the greatest firmness against anti-Semitism and racism”.

In November, another anti-Semitic attacked occurred in the north part of Marseille, where three attackers stabbed a Jewish school teacher on the street.

The teenager in Monday’s attack “has the profile of someone who was radicalized on the Internet,” said Brice Robin, the city’s prosecutor. The assailant, who is of Kurdish descent, claimed to have committed his crime on behalf of Daesh. But, added Brice, “You get the sense that he does not have a full grasp of the fundamentals of Islam.”

This morning, a Jew was attacked in France with this machete: https://t.co/NQnth7ul7c pic.twitter.com/j70zFOSJn2



— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) January 11, 2016

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.