(JTA) – A Jewish teacher from Paris told police that three men had assaulted and cursed him in Arabic before drawing a swastika on his chest.
The attack occurred on Thursday night, according to a report by the Drancy-based Bureau for National Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, a watchdog group known as BNVCA.
“They pressed him to the wall and hit his face, around the eyes and on his chest,” the report said. The blows broke his nose and deformed it, according to the report.
“One of the perpetrators opened the victim’s shirt and with a black marker drew a swastika on the man’s bare chest,” BNVCA president Sammy Ghozlan wrote in the BNVCA report.
The victim, who was wearing a kippah at the time of the attack, was identified as K. Richard. He was treated for a broken nose and lacerations on his face on Thursday night.
He told police that the three men whoa attacked him appeared to be of North African descent and were in their twenties. They cornered him as he was exiting a kosher restaurant on Manin Street in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, near the Gare du Nord train station.
The shouted “death to the Jews” and called him “dirty Jew” in French and also shouted insults in Arabic which Richard did not understand, the BNVCA report said.
Richard’s cries for help drew the attention of a passerby. The perpetrators fled as he approached, the report read.
BNVCA has recorded a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in France in recent weeks.
The SPCJ security unit of French Jewish communities recorded 423 anti-Semitic incidents in 2013 – a 31-percent drop from the 614 incidents recorded in 2012.
But the number of incidents reported last year is still eight percent higher than in 2011, Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, said earlier this month during an interview for BMFTV.
“So we are talking about a decrease, but on the contrary, there is growth. Behind the figures there is a difficult climate,” he said.