Anti-Semitic attack in Paris leaves Jewish teenager in a coma
June 22 2008 at 11:19AM
Paris - French Jewish organisations on Sunday condemned an anti-Semitic attack in Paris in which a Jewish teenager was beaten by a gang of five youths with metal bars.
The 17-year-old was wearing a kippah when he was attacked in Paris' multi-ethnic 19th district on Saturday evening, according to Ariel Goldmann, vice president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France.
Goldmann said the teenager was in a coma.
"There is no doubt that this is an anti-Semitic act," he said. "I call on authorities to do everything possible to arrest those responsible," said Goldmann.Police said they had detained five youths in connection with the beating.
Sammy Gholzan, from the Bureau for Viligance on Anti-Semitism, said a group of six or seven youths attacked the teenager with metal bars and "smashed his skull". He said the young man was a member of the local Lubavitch community. The attack occurred on the eve of President Nicolas Sarkozy's trip to Israel. Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said she was "deeply affected" by the attack and ordered investigators to spare no effort to find the perpetrators and shed light on the circumstances surrounding the violence.
She "expressed solidarity and support for the victim, his family and to the entire Jewish community, and reaffirmed her determination to fight tirelessly against all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, which flouts the values of the republic", said an interior ministry statement. Anti-Semitism is a sensitive issue in France, where the 600,000-strong Jewish community is western Europe's largest, and which is also home to a five-million strong Muslim population. - Sapa-AFP
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