By Yedidya Borenstein
The Jewish community in Paris was rocked to the core on Monday, Dec 1, when French media reported on a patently anti-Semitic home invasion that took place in the suburb of Creteil. Three unknown assailants violently barged in to the home of a Jewish couple, raped the 19-year old woman, robbed the residence and told the victims that this happened “because you are Jewish.”
According to a report in The Algemeiner, the woman who was raped was at her 21-year-old boyfriend’s parent’s home in the predominantly Jewish suburb of Paris. The masked culprits broke into the home, after the couple answered the door.
A local journalist who covered the story told the newspaper that “the Jewish community is in shock over this.” Algemeiner reported that the journalist added, “When I posted the story on my social networks – they went crazy from re-shares,” pointing out that “The article was read 16,207 times from 3PM to 8 PM… it’s 36% of the total amount of page view for the last 20 hours.”
The Francophone JSS News Service issued a statement that said the attackers “came to rob everything, especially the cash.” The journalist added that “According to the victim’s testimony to the police ‘they demanded more money and pointed out that we are Jews.’”
“So, since they had little cash on them or in the house, the thieves demanded a credit card and the PIN code in order to make a withdrawal at a nearby ATM. One robber went to withdraw the money, while the second robber immobilized the young man, and the third raped the woman,” the source said, according to the Algemeiner.
An hour after the beginning of the attack, the thieves fled with cash, jewelry and other items. French media reported that police investigators managed to track down and arrest two of the suspected assailants, but the third member of the gang is still at large.
The attackers wielded a sawed-off rifle and pistol, used tape to tie up the couple and put tape over their mouths, according to police reports. Thus far, no information concerning the identities of the suspects were released.
The Algemeiner had previously reported that on Saturday night, two Jewish men were also attacked in the vicinity, according to the Le Parisien newspaper.
The report also said that the 19 and 21-year-old brothers were wearing skullcaps when they were attacked near the Shaare Zion synagogue, Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said in a statement on Sunday.
Cazeneuve was “severely critical” of the attack, and the Créteil prosecutor opened an investigation pointing to the apparent anti-Semitic nature of the attack.
Creteil Mayor, Laurent Cathala, charged that the “aggression is anti-Semitic; it is indisputable.”
In comment on the synagogue attack, President François Hollande said “France wants all the Jews of France to feel perfectly safe and quiet.”
According to the Algemeiner report, over 30 young French Jews are in Israel to learn Krav Maga self-defense techniques, to be able to better protect themselves when they return home against the burgeoning number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks that take place there.
In June, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky announced that French aliyah (emigration to Israel) will surpass 5,000 individuals by the end of 2014, an all-time record and a full 1 percent of the 500,000-person French Jewish community. Never before has such a large proportion of a Western Jewish community made aliyah in a single year.
Please pray for an end of anti-Semitism around the world, and for the last perpetrator in this incident to be caught.–The Jewish Voice