The French authorities have opened an investigation into a racist attack on a Jewish youngster which left him clinging to life in hospital.
The 17-year-old was in a fight with African youths in a Paris park. The timing of the attack on Rudy Haddad, just as President Nicolas Sarkozy was headed to Israel, prompted fears that this was part of a racist drive. Investigators are still leaning towards the racism theory.
The spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Gérard Gachet, said: “This was a typical inter-community incident, on the basis of ethnic race or religion, and we still believe it was anti-Semitic aggression.” That sent a shudder through France’s Jewish community. There were also other reported attacks against Jews.
The head of a Jewish students’ association said that it was normal people were worried and demanding justice. But it has been revealed the victim was known to police for violence and the attack may have been a gang fight.
Five youths are being questioned. One witness said that 20 Jewish youths were shouting: “We are going to get them.”