Unidentified assailants near Paris stoned a Jewish woman in her sukkah, one of three serious incidents in the last week and indicative of a reported 45 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France in the first half of this year.
The attack was one of three incidents reported by the security unit of France’s Jewish communities since Oct. 5. In a second incident, a Jewish man was lightly wounded by a metal ball that was fired at him as he was coming out of his Paris synagogue. The third involved the desecration of a Jewish cemetery near Marseille.
The SPCJ security unit also reported a 45 percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in France during the first eight months of 2012 compared to the corresponding period in 2011.
The attack on the sukkah near Paris occurred on Oct. 5, as ten members of the same Jewish family were eating dinner in their garden in Seine St. Denis, an eastern suburb of Paris.
The diners ignored a group of men who had shouted obscenities at them from the street, the report by SPCJ said. Then the men pelted the family with rocks, one of which hit the women in her back and caused her minor injuries. None of the children present, including an eight-month-old baby, were hurt.
According to the SPCJ report, the assailants shouted at the family in Arabic, as well as in French, saying: “Dirty Jews, return home,” “we’ll get you” and “we’ve had enough of you, dirty Jews.” They ran away before police reached the scene.
On Oct. 9, a Jewish 19-year-old man was hit in the arm by a round metal projectile as he was coming out of synagogue. The impact was strong enough to immediately cause a small hematoma.
Suspecting a sniper, police officers at the scene took the man back inside the synagogue on Paris’s Sthrau Street and called for backup. The suspected shooter was not caught.
At Avignon, a city in the south of France near Marseille, unidentified assailants destroyed a Star of David which was imprinted on the exterior wall of a Jewish cemetery and chiseled off the word “Jewish.” The vandalism was discovered on Oct. 9.
The SPCJ, or Service de protection de la Communauté Juive, has counted 386 of what it calls “anti-Semitic acts” from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 this year, the organization said in a report on Wednesday. In the corresponding period of 2011, SPCJ counted 266 such incidents. SPCJ said these figures correlated to official data by French authorities.
Of the incidents registered in the first eight months of 2012,101 were “violent actions,” SPCJ said, including the slaying of four people at a school in Toulouse on March 19 by Mohammed Merah, a Muslim extremist. That attack triggered “an explosion” of anti-Semitic attacks, SPCJ said. Most other incidents documented were cases of intimidation, the report said.