Monday, August 13, 2007

EJC: Anti-Semitism Rising in France and Russia

by Hana Levi Julian


Senior members of the European Jewish Congress led by EJC president Moshe Kantor warned of rising anti-Semitism Monday during a visit to Israel.

The delegation met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other government officials to discuss the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents and other issues affecting European Jewry, the Iranian threat and European Jewish support for Israel.

"Anti-Semitic attacks are increasing, and European Jewry's strong support of Israel brings its own problems," Kantor warned before the meeting.

Anti-Semites struck most recently in France and Russia, with two attacks carried out in the past two weeks.

French youths in the Paris area assaulted a 23-year-old woman while shouting anti-Semitic slogans, according to the European Jewish Press.

The woman, identified only by her first name Rebecca, was phoning in front of her house in Noisy-le-Grand when the attackers suddenly began beating her.

"I thought I was going to die because nobody came to help me,” the woman said. The assailants were described as youths with hooded capes and of being of African origin. They stole her cell phone after the attack.

Police have arrested one of the attackers.

Last week, anti-Semites in the Ukraine attacked the director of the Russian Federation of Jewish Committees and his wife while they were out for an evening stroll.

Rabbi Nachum Tamarin and his wife Bracha, co-directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Small Communities of Ukraine were attacked by two young anti-Semites near the Chabad synagogue in Zhitomer.

Two young men punched Tamarin in the face and struck his wife as she lay on the ground. The couple later received treatment in a hospital emergency room for the cuts and bruises inflicted by the attackers.

This was the latest in a recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks in the Ukraine which included an attempted beating by a group of youths who set upon the Chief Rabbi of Zhitomer and co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch in the city, Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm. The rabbi managed to escape his attackers.

A few days earlier, staff members in a local Jewish girls’ dormitory were forced to hold off a group of attackers screaming anti-Semitic insults epithets while trying to break into the building. The attackers tried to punch one of the girls as she fled.

None of the perpetrators have been apprehended.

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