French-Jewish Target of anti-Semitic Threats Assaulted

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The IUT building in Saint-Denis, France.Credit: C1067 / Wikimedia Commons

A French-Jewish university director who has been the subject of an anti-Semitic campaign of intimidation was assaulted outside his home near Paris.

An unidentified individual attacked Samuel Mayol, the director of the Technical University Institution, or IUT, on the evening of Oct. 9 while Mayol was walking his dog in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, the Tribune Juive weekly reported.

The assailant bashed Mayol’s head three times against a wall, causing him a concussion and multiple lacerations. The assailant fled the scene after the attack.

Mayol, who was speaking to a friend on his cellphone when the attack occurred, sustained minor injuries. His attacker told him: “We are going to bump you,” which in French slang also means to kill. Mayol filed a criminal complaint for assault with police, who 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 faculty at IUT, 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 so far 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.

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