French PM: We're facing a new form of anti-Semitism

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warns France is facing new form of anti-Semitism marked by violence.

Elad Benari,


French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned on Wednesday his country is facing a “new form of anti-Semitism” marked by violence, The Associated Press reported.

His comments came following an assault this week in a Paris suburb on an eight-year-old boy wearing a kippah.

The boy was walking to a tutor on Tuesday afternoon in the Sarcelles suburb of Paris when two assailants, about 15 years old, knocked him to the ground and beat him.

It is the second attack on a Jewish child in the same area this month. On January 10, a 15-year-old Jewish girl was slashed in the face while walking home from school, wearing the uniform of her Jewish private school.

Speaking Wednesday before lawmakers, Philippe noted the emergence of a new kind of anti-Semitism in France, which has the largest Jewish population in western Europe.

To fight something, one must have “the courage to put a name on it ... to acknowledge that, yes, there is a new form of anti-Semitism, violent and brutal, emerging more and more openly in our land,” Philippe said, according to AP.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the incident Tuesday night on Twitter.

“An 8-year-old boy was attacked today in Sarcelles. Because he was wearing a kippah. Every time a citizen is attacked because of his age, his appearance or his religion, the whole country is being attacked,” Macron tweeted.

“And it is the whole country that stands, especially today, alongside the French Jews to fight each of these despicable acts, with them and for them,” he added.

France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a statement late Tuesday that investigators suspect the incident was motivated by anti-Semitism.

Earlier in January, two kosher shops in Creteil, another suburb of Paris, were torched. That incident occurred two weeks after the same shops were attacked by individuals who painted swastikas on their facades.