Rabbi Asher Idan, the director of the Jerusalem-based Kol HaNa'ar, was attacked and robbed on Tuesday while traveling on the subway in Paris.
The incident occurred as Rabbi Idan, who is currently in France engaged in Jewish activities, made his way, along with a student, on the subway to give lessons to local Jewish youth. He was approached by two local thugs who shouted “stinking Jew” and viciously attacked him.
Rabbi Idan later told local media that the thugs pinned him to the wall and stole 600 euros from him.
“I saw the burning hatred in their eyes,” he said. “I complained to the French police.” He added that the police officer presented him with 400 photos from which to identify the attackers, but he had difficulties doing so.
Rabbi Idan clarified that despite the attack he does not intend to shorten his trip to France.
Anti-Semitism in France has been on the rise recently. France’s Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim recently received death threats which were contained in a viciously anti-Semitic document sent via Facebook.
The image, which was projected on a document, showed a montage of the Chief Rabbi’s face with a Star of David projected and a revolver pointed at his forehead. A lighter branded Zyklon (the trade name of cyanide used by Nazi Germany in gas chambers to exterminate Jews) is placed under the nose of Rabbi Bernheim.
The caption under the image read: "Calm down Bernheim, I’m not going to deport you, I just want you to inhale the contents of this lighter, that’s to say the person within! You won’t kiss me on the mouth, I prefer to say."
Last month, three men were arrested in France for attacking an 18-year-old Jewish man last week in a suburb outside Paris.
According to local media, the three shouted anti-Semitic slurs at the man and stole his phone.
Several days before that, an anti-Semitic gang attacked three young Jewish men with hammers and iron bars in the French city of Lyon. Two of the victims required hospital care.
In March, a Muslim gunman murdered a rabbi and three Jewish children at the Otzar HaTorah school in Toulouse.
Last week, Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon confronted the French ambassador to Israel, telling him that France is responsible for the growing anti-Semitism in the country.
MK Danon, speaking at a meeting of the Knesset Aliyah Committee that he chairs, revealed that violent anti-Semitic incidents in France soared by 53 percent in the period of January to May of this year compared with the same period in 2011. He added that Jews are afraid to walk in the streets with a kippa.