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Jewish Teen Wearing Yarmulke Tasered in Paris

Third attack on young Jews in the French capital in the past week

Stephanie Butnick
June 11, 2014
Place de la République in Paris. (Shutterstock/Alexander Demyanenko)
Place de la République in Paris. (Shutterstock/Alexander Demyanenko)

In the third disturbing incident from French capital this week, JTA reports that a Jewish teenager was attacked with an electric Taser by a group of teens at Paris’ Place de la République square yesterday. One of the teens, all of whom fled after a passerby intervened, was reportedly also carrying a club. The victim was wearing a yarmulke and tzitzit when he was targeted—just as the two teens chased by a man with an ax last Wednesday, as well as the two teens sprayed with tear gas this weekend, were wearing yarmulkes.

This week’s attacks add to the already combustible climate facing France’s Jewish community. A report released last month revealed that a whopping 75 percent of French Jews have considered emigrating. It’s not hard to understand why. To wit, the anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred in Paris so far this year:

• In May, a Jewish woman with a baby was attacked at a Paris bus station by a man who shouted “Dirty Jewess” at her.

• In March, a Jewish teacher leaving a kosher restaurant in Paris had his nose broken by a group of assailants who also drew a swastika on his chest.

• One week earlier in March, an Israeli man was attacked with a stun gun outside a Paris synagogue,

• A week before that in March, a 28-year-old Jewish man was beaten on the Paris metro to chants of “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country.”

In January, anti-government demonstrators shouted “Jew, France is Not Yours” as they marched through the streets of Paris.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.