ADL Condemns Apparent Anti-Semitic Attack On Jewish Teenager In Paris
New York, NY, June 23, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the brutal beating of an identifiably Jewish teenager in Paris, saying the assault "has disturbing similarities to other violent anti-Semitic attacks in France in recent years" where the victim was singled out by a gang of youths motivated by hate because he was visibly Jewish.
The violent assault was allegedly carried out by a group of youths of African origin wielding iron bars, and left 17-year-old Rudy Haddad in a coma with several broken ribs and a fractured skull. Haddad was wearing a yarmulke at the time of the attack, according to the Union of French Students.
"This deeply disturbing act of hate-inspired violence is a sad reminder that despite the important steps taken by the French government in the past few years to address the resurgence of anti-Semitism in France, there remains much to be done," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This attack has disturbing similarities to other violent anti-Semitic attacks in France in recent years. These assaults create a climate in which Jews may be frightened to walk in the streets of certain neighborhoods for fear of being attacked simply because they are Jewish."
The assault was immediately condemned by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who vowed that France would renew its "total determination to fighting all forms of racism and anti-Semitism," and Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who announced she was opening an investigation into the circumstances of the attack.
"We welcome the statements of President Sarkozy and Interior Minister Alliot-Marie reaffirming their steadfast commitment to fight anti-Semitism and to investigate this crime," said Mr. Foxman. "The immediate and serious response to this heinous anti-Semitic attack from law enforcement and government and civil leaders already demonstrates that commitment.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Rudy Haddad and his family for his complete recovery from this brutal attack."
ADL repeatedly urged the government of France to confront anti-Semitism in the wake of a series of violent assaults against Jews, including the February 2006 murder of Ilan Halimi, who was kidnapped, tortured and left for dead because he was Jewish. The League has since praised the government's efforts to provide "a zero-tolerance policy" for anti-Semitism and to ensure the safety and security of France's Jewish community.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.