WJC horrified by anti-Semitic attack in Paris

World Jewish Congress expresses horror and concern after 79-year-old woman hit in the head with metal ball near Paris synagogue.

Ben Ariel ,


The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Wednesday expressed horror and concern following Tuesday’s attack on a French Jew.

The victim, a 79-year-old woman, was wounded in the head with a metal object as she exited a synagogue in Paris’ 11th arrondissement and taken to a nearby hospital. The suspect fled and remains at large.

“The WJC views this incident in Paris as part of a disturbing trend, not just in France but around the world. We wish the victim a speedy recovery and call on the French authorities to do all in their power to bring the perpetrator to justice,” the organization said in a statement.

“The WJC is in contact with its French affiliate, the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), which has strongly condemned this violent act of aggression and is monitoring the situation closely,” it added.

The attack is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic attacks in France, where the number of anti-Jewish offences reported to police surged 74 percent last year.

In late May, a French-Jewish taxi driver was mugged and beaten in what he said was an anti-Semitic crime by perpetrators who targeted him because of his Jewish-sounding name.

Last March, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was murdered and set on fire in her apartment in Paris. Knoll’s Muslim neighbor, Yacine Mihoub, and an accomplice, confessed to stabbing Knoll to death. Authorities described the murder as an anti-Semitic hate-crime.

In April 2017, another elderly French Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was stabbed to death.

In addition to the violence, there have been several incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism. In March, vandals scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on a former synagogue in in the town of Mommenheim.

Two days earlier, vandals toppled a monument to a synagogue which was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II.

In another anti-Semitic incident, statements celebrating the Holocaust were sent in a letter to a Jewish school south of Paris and, separately, the words “death to Jews” were painted on the fence of a synagogue north of the city.