(JTA) — A French Jewish couple robbed in their Paris-area home may have been targeted because of their mezuzah, a watchdog group on anti-Semitism said.
Four masked men threatened to kill the couple in Monday night’s incident in the crime-stricken northern suburb of Aubervilliers, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote in a statement Wednesday. The group did not name the couple, who were not injured but are “completely traumatized,” the statement said.
The robbers stole all the valuables they could carry.
“Again, the myth of Jews having money prompted criminals to prefer Jews as targets,” the statement read.
In addition to assaults motivated by anti-Semitism, French Jews in recent years have reported an increase in the number of incidents also featuring robbery.
Some victims were selected because they are Jewish, while others began as random criminal acts before escalating into violent assaults after the perpetrators discovered the Jewish identity of their victims.
One such incident is believed to have ended last year with murder of Mireille Knoll, a Jewish women who had escaped a mass roundup of Jews in Paris during World War II. She was found dead in her apartment in eastern Paris by firefighters called to extinguish a blaze.
Prosecutors indicted two men for her murder, including a neighbor who is accused of planning to rob her. Both defendants have denied the actions attributed to them.