This is the second such attack in the city. Less than two months ago, another Jewish teacher wearing a yarmulke suffered knife wounds when he was ganged up on by several youths on scooters on in a northern district of the city. Two of them had knives. The youths made a point of showing the man their t-shirts which bore the symbol of the Islamic State.
In last week’s attack, it was initially thought that the victim was superficially wounded on his hands and shoulder because the machete blade was dull. Now it transpires that he has bruises on his back, including the kidney area, from ‘particularly violent blows’ which the youth inflicted.
The teacher was on his way to work at a Jewish school. His wife said that his satchel of textbooks provided him with some protection. The bag has a tear from the machete and some of the books are damaged.
Both she and her husband are in a state of shock. Neither expected this to happen. They continue to send their children to school but wonder what, if anything, could happen next.
The 15-year-old shouted at the time that he was acting in the ‘name of Allah and Daesh’.
Marseille’s public prosecutor Brice Robin said in a press conference that the attack bore an ‘anti-Semitic character’ with ‘some form of premeditation’.
The Turkish Kurd faces charges of anti-Semitism, attempted murder and association with a terrorist organisation.
After being detained and questioned by Marseille police, the boy was transferred to the anti-terror unit in Levallois-Perret outside Paris. The public prosecutor’s office in Paris will take over the case. The Telegraph reports that he was to have appeared in court on Wednesday, January 13.
The assailant, who turns 16 this week, had no criminal record and was unknown to the police. He attended school ‘regularly’ and received ‘very good’ marks for his work.
It is surprising that he was not in school that morning!
He was arrested soon after the assault at his family home in Marseille’s 9th district, in the south of the city. He handed over a ceramic knife to police, saying that he had intended to use it to attack their colleagues or the military.
He appears to come from a nice family and has no psychological or educational problems. His parents were shocked when police knocked on their door.
The boy told police that he had bought the machete ten days earlier in order to ‘attack Jews’ after having seen Palestinians do the same to Jews in Israel.
His objective, he said, was to then go after police and die a martyr after they shot him.
He told authorities that he had spent the preceding months in his bedroom on the Internet and became radicalised. He pledged his loyalty to Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, the notional head of IS.
Meanwhile, France’s Jewish leaders are at loggerheads as to what to advise men who wear yarmulkes — kippas, as Europeans call them — in public. This is not uncommon in certain Western European countries. They are worn in public by some Jewish men and boys in the UK, too.
Zvi Ammar, head of the consistory in Marseille, has asked men to leave their head covering at home (emphases mine):
Today, considering the serious nature of recent events … we must take exceptional decisions. For me, life is more sacred than anything else … We are obliged to hide ourselves a bit.
Ammar added that:
he had no choice
and that this appeal:
makes me sick to my stomach.
France’s chief rabbi Haïm Korsia completely disagrees. Whilst he appreciates that Ammar’s request:
is an understandable emotional cry … we mustn’t make any concessions. We will continue to wear the kippa.
On January 12, Roger Cukierman, head of CRIF (the representative council for Jewish institutions in France), agreed with the chief rabbi, calling Ammar’s appeal:
clumsy … We don’t make collective recommendations, it’s a matter of personal choice.
Furthermore, the request:
gives a win to the jihadists.
On January 13, Xavier Bertrand, parliamentarian and head of France’s conservative party in the north of the country, agreed with both the chief rabbi and the head of CRIF. Bertrand said that while he understands why Ammar made his request to protect his fellow Jews in Marseille:
If we give up — if Jewish men no longer wear kippas — then France is no longer France.
Bertrand said the French government must do more. Indeed, three politicians on RMC this morning echoed the same sentiment: too many words, too little action.
Since 9/11, in addition to Islamist attacks, we have had a progressive salami-slicing of Western values on the part of fundamentalist extremists.
This week’s posts will address various other events in Europe and in Canada.
Whilst I can understand Zvi Ammar’s appeal for Marseille, it would be sad to see Jewish men in the rest of France feel as if they had to conceal their religion.
The schoolteacher attacked last week, incidentally, is now wearing a baseball cap instead of a kippa. Under the circumstances, who can blame him?
Around the same time this was going on, The Telegraph reported that a Jewish Frenchman was beaten up and robbed on the German island of Fehmarn on Saturday, January 9. He was at the ferry terminal when two men set upon him:
The suspects, a 30-year-old Syrian and a 19-year-old Afghan, are alleged to have targeted the victim because he was wearing a Jewish yarmulke skullcap.
They allegedly shouted “Jew!” at him in Arabic, threw him to the ground and stole a bag containing his money, bank cards and mobile phone.
Under German privacy laws, further details cannot be released at this time, however:
police say the two asylum-seekers wanted to travel to Scandinavia but had been turned back at the Danish border because they had no papers.
The men have been released on bail, although a spokesman for prosecutors said they would have preferred to see the men in detention.
In closing — and returning to the question of whether to wear a yarmulke or not — the same article states that, in Dresden, two Israeli students were beaten up by Germans who mistook them for Arab asylum seekers. Police have asked for information on six men dressed in black, thought to have been the assailants:
“F*** Arabs! This is our country!” the attackers shouted. One of the students was beaten and suffered minor injuries.
The two students managed to flee to a nearby shop, where the attackers then smashed the window before fleeing.
This type of attack will not end soon. Europe is in an unholy mess brought about by our ‘humanitarian’ politicians.