It was the pet dog of a family that allowed a family to escape their home while a fire had been set just outside by a Muslim neighbor. After midnight on Friday, the family dog barked insistently, waking the family from their slumber. The occupants of the aparment in Creteil -- a suburb of Paris -- found that the front door had been set ablaze and smoke was rapidly filling their residence. 

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA) reported on Sunday that the door had been set alight with the use of a highly flammable liquid. The Jewish family told police that they suspected an Arab neighbor of committing the arson, while stating that he had expressed anti-Semitic and extremist views online. Police detained the neighbor in connection with the incident. BNVCA is calling the incident anti-Semitic. Dogs are considered to be ritually impure for Muslims.

The attack at the apartment came during the same week that an unidentified person set the family’s car on fire. According to witnesses, a man wearing a hoodie set it alight. A BNVCA report noted, “The incident confirms BNVCA’s observation that anti-Semitic acts that began as targeting property belonging to Jews (synagogues, schools, community centers) or as assaults on people on the street have evolved into attacks on Jews inside their own homes.”

The southeastern suburb of Creteil saw an anti-Semitic incident in 2014 that horrified the whole country. It was then that three men invaded a home there. Finding a young couple there, an armed suspect guarded the young man while another raped the young woman. A third man took the credit card belonging to the male occupant of the apartment. Meanwhile, the assailants, shouted threats and anti-Semitic epithets at the victims.

Anti-Semitic incidents have risen in France, as has the terrorist threat level following several deadly attacks attributed to various Muslim factions. Some of the attacks were in retribution for French support of Israel. In 2012, a rabbi and three out of four of his children were shot to death by a Muslim terrorist in Toulouse.

Earlier this year, Sarah Halimi, a physician and kindergarten, was murdered inside her home by an Islamist neighbor whom prosecutors say was motivated by anti-Semitic hatred. She was not a relative of Ilan Halimi.

Some French Jews regard the murder of Ilan Halimi as the turning point in the emergence of an unprecedented wave of violence against Jews in France and Belgium, where more than 12 people have died since 2012 in at least three jihadist attacks on Jewish targets.

Jewish Times  French Jews  anti-Semitism in France



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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