France - Middle East

Jewish Defence League ‘member’ assaulted near Paris

The clashes near the synagogue on Paris's rue de la Roquette on 13 July
The clashes near the synagogue on Paris's rue de la Roquette on 13 July youtube/screenshot RFI

A young Jewish man has called in French police after being attacked by about a dozen people outside his home in Bobigny, near Paris. He is reported to be a member of the Jewish Defence League (LDJ), which has clashed with pro-Palestinian protesters over the last couple of weeks.

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France’s Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) has dubbed the assault an “anti-Semitic attack” and says it will file a complaint against a Facebook page that published threats to the 19-year-old along with his address.

Three men, armed with sticks, allegedly attacked the young man after waiting for him outside the building where he lived and were joined by a 10 or so others, leaving him slightly injured.

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“The assailants reportedly said ‘We’re here to do over Jews’ and ‘We’re going to do to you what was done to Ilan Halimi’ [a Jewish man kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a gang in 2006]”, according to the UEJF.

“It is unacceptable that Jews are the targets of calls for murder on Facebook,” the organisation said Friday.

The victim first went to police to complain of threats on 21 July.

Police sources say that he appears to be a member of the LDJ, a small organisation banned in the US and Israel but not France, which claims to a Jewish self-defence group.

LDJ members tweeted challenges to “pro-Palosto confront them after the 13 July Gaza solidarity demonstration in Paris and the clashes that followed led to banning of a subsequent Gaza protest on the grounds that a synagogue had reportedly been stormed.

Declaring itself a “nationalist, patriotic Jewish movement”, it is alleged to have attacked pro-Palestinian activists and meetings and a Paris bookshop.

Following the ban of pro-Gaza demonstrations last weekend, Jewish businesses were attacked in Sarcelles, outside Paris, and protesters fought with police in the city itself.

The French government on Friday banned Saturday’s pro-Gaza demonstration in Paris.
 

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