Jewish academic assaulted near Paris following anti-Semitic threats


(JTA) — A French-Jewish university director who has been subjected to an anti-Semitic campaign of intimidation was assaulted outside his suburban Paris home.

Samuel Mayol, the director of the Technical University Institution, or IUT, was attacked on the evening of Oct. 9 while walking his dog in Saint-Denis, the Tribune Juive weekly reported. His assailant fled the scene and has not been identified.

The assailant bashed Mayol’s head against a wall three times, causing a concussion and multiple lacerations. He said his attacker told him: “We are going to bump you,” which in French slang means to kill.

Mayol, who was speaking to a friend on his cellphone when the attack occurred, filed a criminal complaint for assault. Police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.

According to the French daily Le Figaro, the anti-Semitic intimidation against Mayol began at his workplace in February when he received anonymous threats on his life. In May, a Star of David was painted on the doors of the office of a member of the IUT faculty, and five of Mayol’s colleagues received text massages reading “You too will fall. You work for Jews.”

Separately, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo last week became the first European mayor to sign the American Jewish Committee’s “Statement on Anti-Semitism by Mayor and Municipal Leaders,” in which she pledged to pursue a zero-tolerance policy on anti-Semitism and make the physical security of Jewish communities a priority.

Hidalgo is the only European mayor to have signed the statement, which has dozens of cosignatories in the United States including New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and his Los Angeles counterpart, Eric Garcetti, who is Jewish.

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