The DPA news agency reported that the man, 42, was attacked by two men wearing djellabas, robes traditionally worn in North Africa.
Eyewitnesses reported that the Jew, who was wearing a traditional skullcap, was hit in the back with the iron rod by one of the men, while the other stabbed him in the chest. The two assailants were arrested, and one of them was said to be mentally ill.
A representative of the umbrella association for Jewish organizations in the French Alsace region, Pierre Levy, called the incident a "serious anti-Semitic act."
The leader of the Muslim community in Strasbourg referred to the incident as a "barbaric act". He said it was in intolerable incident aimed at creating tension between Jews and Muslims.
About two weeks ago, the central synagogue in the French town of Mulhouse was burnt down, and the local Jewish community suspected it was an act of arson ahead of the Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The building caught fire during Shabbat prayers and sustained heavy damages. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
Local Jewish sources said they fear the fire was deliberate, after the synagogue was already defaced earlier this year with anti-Semitic graffiti slogans.
Threats, incitement against Jews
The year 2009 saw a sharp rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in France, and particularly in threats and incitement against Jews. Figures compiled by the French Interior Ministry show a sharp rise in the number of threats against Jews in 2009, with 360 anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed across the country, 69 threatening leaflets and letters published against Jews, and 229 cases of verbal violence against Jews.
In total, there were 658 incidents of expressions of anti-Semitism which did not involve physical violence. In 2008 there were 324 incidents, while 2007 recorded 115 such incidents.
Last year also saw a rise in the number of cases of anti-Semitic physical violence, although this increase was smaller. The year 2009 saw 89 cases of assault, but no murders. In addition, there were 15 cases of arson due to anti-Semitism and 78 cases of damaged property – a total of 174 cases. In 2008 there were 150 such cases, and in 2007 – 146.
A summation of the figures reveals a worrisome picture, with 832 anti-Semitic incidents which took place over the past year, according to the French Interior Ministry. In 2008 there were 474 incidents, and 261 were recorded in 2007.