Dozens of anti-Israel protesters rioted Sunday and tried to force their way into a nearby synagogue full of worshipers only to be beaten back by Jewish community private security, the JDL and Beitar.
Anti-Israel Rioters Try To Sack Paris Shul, Pushed Back In Street Brawl By Jewish Security, JDL And Beitar
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Dozens of anti-Israel protesters rioted Sunday and tried to force their way into a nearby synagogue full of worshipers, the JTA reported.
At least three Jews were hospitalized. It is unknown how many of the anti-Israel attackers, if any, were injured.
“The attackers splintered off an anti-Israel demonstration and advanced toward the synagogue when it was full,” Alain Azria, a French Jewish journalist who witnessed the incident told JTA.
According to Azria, the group of young men charged at the synagogue, which is located in the 11th Arrondissement near Gare de Lyon, southeast of the Marais District that houses the old Jewish quarter of the city.
Five police officers were guarding the synagogue, in which approximately 200 Jews were praying. Police reportedly blocked the synagogue’s entrance to try to prevent the rioters from gaining entry and called for reinforcements.
The anti-Israel rioters threw whatever they could find at the synagogue, police and private Jewish community security guards while they chanted anti-Semitic slogans and tried to force their way inside.
As police stood by waiting for reinforcements to arrive, the mob was pushed back by men from the SPCJ Jewish community security unit, the Jewish Defense League and Beitar in what quickly became a street brawl.
“Thank God they were there because the protesters had murder on their minds and it took a while before police reinforcements arrived,” Azria told the JTA.
This is another in a long string of anti-Semitic attacks in the Paris area that has reportedly stepped up in frequency and violence since Israel responded to Hamas rocket fire and the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas operatives in the West Bank last month by bombing Hamas targets in Gaza.
A synagogue in Belleville north of Paris was reportedly firebombed late last week, causing only minor damage.
In another attack, a man with a Middle Eastern appearance pepper sprayed the face of a 17-year-old girl Jewish girl near Gare du Nord in Paris. The attacker reportedly screamed, “Dirty Jewess, inshallah [Allah willing; with the help of Allah] you will die.”
Update 11:23 pm CDT – Ha'aretz has a different version of what happened based on an eyewitness account from a woman who lives across the street from the synagogue and written by a journalist who I believe is a native French speaker. The JTA's reporter is from Cleveland, is haredi Ba'al teshuva and is, I think, involved in kiruv and similar activities.
This is what happened according to Ha'aretz:
…A police spokeswoman said the Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue in eastern Paris was targeted during a service, and worshippers were blocked inside while police pushed protesters back. The spokeswoman said all those inside left safely by Sunday evening.
Aline Le Bail-Kremer watched the incident unfold from her window across the street. She said protesters came from two directions and converged on the synagogue, grabbing chairs from sidewalk cafes and wielding bats as they tried to push past security guards.
Some 150 people were inside for a ceremony honoring three Israeli teens recently killed, said Le Bail-Kremer, a representative of [the] anti-racism group SOS Racisme.
[SOS Racisme was, I think, founded by an acquaintance of mine, French novelist and human rights advocate Marek Halter.]
Sunday's protest, involving about 10,000 people, had been largely peaceful.
Despite sporadic rain, the marchers packed long and leafy Paris avenues, including young women in headscarves or Palestinian keffiyeh scarves. Some marched under enormous Palestinian green, white and black flags, while others waved signs reading "Stop Killing Children."
Among the protesters were those who carried signs reading "Gaza is a concentration camp" and "Anti-Zionism," according to local reports, and some called out "Death to Jews.”…