AFP, Jan. 6, 2003
PARIS, Jan 6 (AFP) – The car of a Paris rabbi stabbed last week in a suspected anti-Semitic attack was torched Monday in the parking lot of his apartment building, officials said.
The fire consumed the back end of Gabriel Farhi’s car, parked underground at his home in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement (district), according to police, who have launched an inquiry.
Farhi, 34, was stabbed in the abdomen on Friday inside his liberal synagogue in eastern Paris by a man who cried “Allahu Akbar” (“God Is Greater” in Arabic) and then fled the scene.
A few hours before the stabbing, Farhi’s Jewish Liberal Movement of France (MJLF) had received a threatening letter targetting the prominent rabbi.
Farhi was released from the hospital later Friday after treatment for what he said was a large but shallow wound.
French President Jacques Chirac, who met Monday with religious leaders to exchange traditional New Year’s greetings, denounced what he called a “hateful act” of violence against Farhi and vowed to fight religious intolerance.
France’s Jewish community of some 500,000 endured a spate of anti-Semitic attacks last year, with more than 300 crimes targeting Jews, their schools and synagogues over a period of three months.
“Is this an isolated act or the prelude to other attacks and a new wave of anti-Semitism?” Farhi asked of the stabbing in an interview with the daily Le Monde conducted before Monday’s incident.