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.
The driver, a 33-year-old man from the Paris region whose first name is Israel Hai, said that he accepted a ride in Clichy Sous-Bois near Paris early on Thursday morning through the Uber application. In it, both drivers and passengers can see one another’s names ahead of the ride.
A man in his 20s was waiting for Israel Hai at the appointed place and he asked to sit in the front seat. Then a group of about 10 young men surrounded the car. One of the perpetrators told Israel Hai: “Israel, you kike, you have money, we’re going to need to frisk you,” he told his wife and parents, who filed a complaint for him with police and the National Bureau for Vigilance Against anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.
The men then beat the driver forcefully in the head, causing him to black out.
The perpetrators then pulled the victim outside of the car by his hair, kicked him, and stole his jewelry. Some of them were wearing balaclavas, and some beat him with batons. They then stole his car, glasses, wallet and his shoes, he said. Bruised and barefoot, Israel asked passersby to drive him to a police station, where officers also referred him to medical attention.
He had light injuries and was discharged with a concussion.