French Prime Minister Manuel Vals said that the suspected rape and robbery of a young Jewish woman near Paris shows the need to combat anti-Semitism.
Vals made the statement Thursday on Twitter in reaction to a suspected break-in in the Paris suburb of Creteil, which prosecutors said was carried out by three men who selected their victims because they were sure they had money since they are Jewish.
Police have in custody three men they suspect of committing the armed break-in, during which one suspect allegedly raped a 19-year-old Jewish woman while another guarded her 21-year-old boyfriend inside the house. A third culprit went out to withdraw the couple’s money from a cash machine while the other two stayed behind.
“The horror in Creteil is a vile demonstration of how the fight against anti-Semitism is a daily battle. I relay my support for the family,” Vals wrote.
On Wednesday, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that “the anti-Semitic nature of this attack seems confirmed.”
Shimon Samuels, director for international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, commended Cazeneuve’s “acknowledgement of [the crime as being] ‘anti-Semitic’ and the police rapid arrests.”
The male victim, identified by Le Monde only as Jonathan, told the BFM television network that the attackers interrogated him about the family’s revenues from a clothes shop which the kidnappers thought the family owned. In reality, the little brother was only a salesman.
In the interview, Jonathan said that his interrogators told him they came especially to the house because they believed Jews always have some money.