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Two French Boys Charged in Anti-Semitic Rape of 12-Year Old Girl in Paris Suburb

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Two French Boys Charged in Anti-Semitic Rape of 12-Year Old Girl in Paris Suburb

Edited by: Fern Sidman

French authorities said they have charged two teenagers with the gang rape of a 12-year-old girl in a Paris suburb in an attack suspected to have been motivated by anti-Semitism, according to a report in the French newspaper, LeMonde.  The violence has sent shockwaves through the Jewish community and added to tensions in the run-up to a snap election that could bring the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) to power for the first time, the report added.

The girl told police she was approached by three boys aged between 12 and 13 while she was in a park near her home with a friend and dragged into a shed on the evening of Saturday, June 15, in the northwestern Parisian suburb of Courbevoie, as was reported by LeMonde.  The suspects beat her and “forced her to have anal and vaginal penetration, fellatio, while uttering death threats and anti-Semitic remarks,” a police source told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Her friend managed to identify two of the attackers. The three boys were arrested on Monday. On Tuesday evening, two of them, both aged 13, were charged with gang rape, anti-Semitic insults and violence, and issuing death threats, the report in LeMonde said. The pair were taken into custody. The third boy, aged 12, was also charged with anti-Semitic insults and violence and issuing death threats, but not with rape, according to published reports. He was allowed to return home after being charged.

France, home to the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe, has witnessed a disturbing rise in anti-Semitic acts in recent months. This surge has coincided with escalating tensions in the Middle East, particularly following Hamas’s attack on southern Israel on October 7 and Israel’s subsequent military campaign in Gaza, according to the information provided in The LeMonde report.

The gang rape of the 12-year old girl has elicited a strong response from leaders of the Jewish community. France’s chief rabbi, Haïm Korsia, expressed his horror on the social media platform X, stating, “No one should be excused in the face of this unprecedented wave of anti-Semitism,” as was reported by LeMonde.  This sentiment reflects the deep fear and anger within the community, which has long been targeted by anti-Semitic violence and rhetoric.

Courbevoie’s conservative mayor, Jacques Kossowski, condemned the assault as “an abject act” and emphasized the need for the perpetrators to face the full force of the law, irrespective of their age. This call for justice underscores the broader societal demand for stringent measures against hate crimes.

French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the issue during a cabinet meeting, where he described anti-Semitism as a “scourge” threatening French schools. As per the information contained in the LeMonde report, Macron highlighted the importance of dialogue to combat racism and anti-Semitism, aiming to prevent hateful ideologies from taking root in educational institutions. His remarks reflect a growing recognition of the need for proactive measures to address and prevent anti-Semitic behavior among the youth.

Official figures reveal a three-fold increase in anti-Semitic acts in France during the first months of 2024 compared to the same period in the previous year. This alarming trend is part of a broader pattern of increasing hate crimes, with 1,676 anti-Semitic acts recorded in 2023, as was indicated in the LeMonde report.  Notably, 12.7% of these incidents occurred in schools, highlighting the vulnerability of young students to such attacks.

The rise in anti-Semitic violence has profound implications for French society. It not only threatens the safety and well-being of the Jewish community but also poses a broader challenge to social cohesion and national unity. The recent attack in Courbevoie is a stark reminder of the urgent need for effective measures to combat hate crimes and ensure justice for victims.

As the nation grapples with this challenge, the voices of leaders such as Rabbi Haïm Korsia and President Macron will be crucial in shaping a response that is both strong and compassionate, ensuring that France remains a place where all citizens can live without fear of hate and violence.

 

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