French police outside Jewish school (illustration)
French police outside Jewish school (illustration)Reuters

Three days after the horrific assault on a Jewish couple in Paris, anti-Semitism reared its ugly head again in France. 

An 8-year-old girl was verbally attacked and harassed by two fellow students at her elementary school in Mions, near Lyons, simply for being Jewish. 

The two boys, ages 8 and 9 and identified as Muslims, began to verbally assault the girl in the school cafeteria after labeling her as Jewish last Thursday. 

Later in the day, on the playground of the Joseph Sibuet elementary school, the boys began to taunt the girl, stirring up other students in the process, and likewise tried to hit her. 

Finally, two fellow students, both non-Jewish, intervened and helped the girl and her 6-year-old sister. 

The French watchdog Bureau for National Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA) reported the assault to the media. 

Apparently the attack began when the girl declined to state her religion. She had been instructed not to by her parents due to the highly anti-Semitic climate in the country. The boys were of "North African origin," BNVCA stated. 

“Our parents told us that Islam is at war against the Jews,” the boys reportedly said.

The victim's father told BNVCA that his daughter has refused to return to school. He has filed a complaint with the head of the school as well as police. 

The girl previously sought help with the harassment from six adults at the school, but with no response, the JSSNews website reported.

BNVCA, for its part, has called on the two boys not only to be punished, but educated about Judaism as well. They also stressed that the students' parents, who have reportedly refused to take any action, be reprimanded. 

France has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in recent years, and it flared particularly during this past summer's Operation Protective Edge, with violent protests in Paris

In one incident, hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.

Several violent instance of anti-Semitism have occurred since then. 

In condemning the brutal attack last week, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he was "surprised" there were not more demonstrations on the streets against anti-Semitism and racism. 

"What happened in Creteil, this abominable crime, this violence, the rape of a young woman, (the attack on) a family because they are Jewish. That's not France," stressed Valls. However, incidents such as these would seem to prove all too well that it is.