Arson, stabbing in Paris


PARIS (JTA) — A synagogue was attacked and a man was stabbed in two anti-Jewish crimes in the Paris suburbs.

The door to a synagogue was torched and a young man was stabbed four times after two men attempting to steal his vehicle recognized a Jewish symbol on the victim’s necklace. Both crimes occurred Thursday.

The interior ministry said the assailants used "threats of an anti-Semitic character," before stabbing the Jewish man. The victim was quickly treated for wounds near the neck and was able to leave the hospital Thursday night.

Investigators are still looking for suspects in both crimes.

On Friday afternoon, a gathering of 100 city officials, congregants, and Jewish and Muslim leaders gathered at the synagogue in the southern Paris suburb, Villeneuve Saint-Georges, where the back door had been torched.

The community rabbi, Schneour Lubecki, said it was "a miracle" that the fire did not spread to the rest of the small building, since the damaged door was surrounded by wood. 

In a sign that the congregation’s rituals will not be interrupted, Sabbath prayers were held in the partly blackened synagogue less than 24 hours after the crime. The room still smelled of burnt wood.

Other than added security, "nothing will change" in the community’s way of life, said Lubecki.  Nor does he think anyone plans to leave the area.  "If people leave, it will be worse for the others left behind," he said.

Bias crimes in Europe have spiked since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip last month.

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