Daily Israel Report

French Anti-Semites Tear Gas Elderly Man at Synagogue

Three men sprayed tear gas on an elderly Jew outside a French synagogue Sunday, the second violent attack on Jews in the country in three days.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/3/2010, 10:08 PM

Israel news photo

Three men sprayed tear gas on an elderly Jew outside a French synagogue Sunday, the second violent attack on Jews in the country in three days. The attackers of the elderly man left behind an anti-Semitic slogan, according to the London Telegraph.

The attackers, still at-large, launched the attack as the man, described as being in his 80s, was waiting outside to attend daily prayer services, Nimes Jewish community leader Paul Benguigui told the newspaper. Nimes is located in southern France.

Friday night, assailants brutally attacked a 42-year-old man in Strasbourg, hitting him across the back of the head with a metal rod and stabbing him in the chest. Authorities charged a 38-yer-old man, said to be mentally deranged, for attempted murder.

Sunday's tear gas attack “triggered certain worries” in the Jewish community, Benguigi said. Three years ago, a Muslim gang tortured and killed Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew, in a Paris suburb.   

Approximately half a million Jews live in France. Local Zionist groups, along with the Jewish Agency, have been trying to encourage them to move to Israel as anti-Semitism rises throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

During his tenure as Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon urged French Jews to immigrate to Israel "immediately.”