Yet another elderly French Jewish woman living alone in her own home has been subjected to a brutal robbery motivated by antisemitism, the Paris-based National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) said on Sunday.
The attack occurred on Dec. 13, according to a statement from the BNVCA, an independent organization that assists the victims of antisemitic violence in France.
Two minors, described as Black and of about 16-17 years of age, rang the doorbell of their victim’s apartment, pretending to be members of the building’s security detail. When the victim — identified as “Mrs. LU”, a 74-year-old pensioner — answered the door, the two assailants forced their way inside.
They then subjected their victim to a series of heavy blows before tying her up and ordering her to disclose where she kept her jewelry. Over the next traumatic half-hour, one of the assailants searched the apartment while the other kept guard over the victim, hitting her repeatedly and placing a piece of masking tape over her mouth to stifle her cries.
After having stolen all of their victim’s jewelry, the two assailants fled, leaving her badly bruised on the face and legs and in a state of severe shock.
The BNVCA said that the victim’s Jewish identity was revealed to the assailants by the mezuzah affixed to the doorpost of her apartment in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.
“In the same way that a Jew is identified as such by wearing a kippah, the apartments inhabited by Jewish families are identified by the presence of the mezuzah (a case containing a parchment written in Hebrew),” the group noted.
The BNVCA said that the victim, who had lived in the building for 30 years, was now anxious to move. The previous week, a Jewish family living in a neighboring street had been subjected to a similar antisemitic robbery, the group added.
“We call on the police to do everything possible to identify the two attackers, and to carry out patrols in order to protect the residents of this neighborhood, which has become dangerous and infamous,” the BNVCA statement concluded.
Last month, a 70-year-old Parisian Jewish man was beaten, robbed and tied to a chair in his own apartment by antisemitic intruders who are yet to be apprehended by police.
There have been several instances of vulnerable Jews in France being targeted for home invasions and robberies in recent years, resulting in at least two deaths. In 2017, Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old pensioner, was beaten and and her body ejected from a third floor window by an antisemitic intruder, while in 2018, Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, was stabbed 11 times in her apartment before her body was set alight during another robbery motivated by antisemitism.