After he and his 17-year-old brother were attacked on Friday by a saw-wielding attacker and his friends in Bondy, France, the 29-year-old Jewish man relived the traumatic incident in his interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, revealing how angry he feels for not being able to defend himself.
"We stopped at the traffic light, when we suddenly noticed the driver in the car next to us was taking a good look at us, to try and see if we are wearing a kippa. He recklessly tried to block us twice. The third time, I drove near him and asked why he was doing that. He then started cursing us, using anti-Semitic slurs. I asked him to step out of his car, but he kept tailing us and trying to ram us,” he said.
Armand Azoulay, the father of the two, said in his interview with Yedioth Ahronoth that his sons were suffering from “psychological shock,” adding that “the assailants tried to pass them several times, and then they tried to push them off the road so their car would drive onto the sidewalk and cause an accident. My son didn't understand what was happening.”
According to the complaint the two brothers filed with the police, the driver answered their question with, “I do what I want, dirty Jews. You’re going to die.” And so, after attempting to ram them off the road, the driver forced the two to stop near a hookah lounge.
"When we approached the Hookah lounge, where a few of his Muslim friends sat, he called for them to come out,” the victim recounted. “Out of the lounge came five people. Additionally, in his car was also his dad trying to calm him down, saying ‘Enough, enough.’” He then added that “the assailant, aged 25-30, got out of his car with a hacksaw. When we saw it, we started running.
"He attacked me with it and I fell. His friends held me down to the floor while he punched me in the face and kicked me. My younger brother then got outside the car in shock to try and knock him down, and that’s how the saw was dropped.
“He yelled ‘I’ll kill you, you dirty Jew.’ My brother had to let him go because his friend came to his aid. The assailant grabbed the saw again, but two of his friends tried to calm him down and separate him and my brother. He still managed to cut my brother’s hand.
"The assailant then ran to me again and continued to kick me. His father then tried stopping him again. If it wasn’t for him, my brother and I would have been murdered. My brother dislocated his shoulder and had to get stitches for his hand. I have bruises and cuts all across my head, face and neck. Thank God I’m slowly starting to feel better.”
But the two brothers feel strengthened by the attack: “What I’m left with are images from the incident in my head, and I aim to find him. Since the experience I’m no longer scared,” adding, “I feel hate and anger for not being able to defend myself. I know how to defend against a knife attack. The problem wasn’t the number of assailants, but the hacksaw, which neither of us expected. We couldn’t get near him to disarm him. I want to find him so I can face him again.”
The police have opened an investigation but have not found any suspects yet. “The problem in France is that you hear all the time about Jews being assaulted,” the man claimed. “We need to send a different message today. We need to hear about Jews defending themselves. Never in my life have I seen such hatred.”