(JTA) — The male victim of a brutal break-in at a suburban Paris apartment said the assailants told him they targeted the Jewish couple living there because they believed that Jews always have some money.
Three men are in custody for the armed attack on Sunday in Creteil. Prosecutors said they chose their victims — the man is 21 and his girlfriend is 19 — because they were sure they had money since they are Jewish.
One suspect allegedly raped the woman while another guarded her boyfriend inside the apartment. A third culprit went out to withdraw the couple’s money from a cash machine while the other two stayed behind.
The male victim, identified by the Le Monde newspaper only as Jonathan, told the BFM television network on Wednesday that the attackers interrogated him about the family’s revenues from a clothes shop that the kidnappers thought the family owned. In reality, Jonathan’s younger brother was a salesman there.
Told that, the assailants still interrogated the man about Jews and his family’s money.
“They started talking to me about my father, and the car he owns. They threw me,” Jonathan said. “We have already watched you, it is not for nothing,” the men said, according to Jonathan. “Anyway, Jews, you have money at home, you do not put it in the bank.”
On Wednesday, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that “the anti-Semitic nature of this attack seems confirmed.”
Shimon Samuels, director for international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, commended Cazeneuve’s “acknowledgement of [the crime as being] ‘anti-Semitic’ and the police rapid arrests.”
On Thursday, French Prime Minister Manuel Vals in a statement on Twitter said that the attack shows the need to combat anti-Semitism.
“The horror in Creteil is a vile demonstration of how the fight against anti-Semitism is a daily battle,” Vals wrote. “I relay my support for the family.”