A 74-year-old Jewish man has admitted to being behind antisemitic messages graffitied on a kosher restaurant in a suburb of Paris.
The shopfront in Levallois-Perret, an upscale area outside Paris was covered in vandalism that read “Jew” and “Jewish thief” earlier this week.
On July 19, after police arrested the first suspect spotted on security cameras, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter that he was shocked by the “unbearable” anti-Semitic inscriptions and he congratulated police for “already detaining the alleged perpetrator.”
The first person arrested was later released due to a lack of evidence and police then arrested the 74-year-old Jewish man.
At the time of the vandalism leaders from political parties from across the spectrum denounced the “attack”, with Socialist party leader saying it was “chilling to see a Jewish business owner being singled out. This is not Germany in the 1930s but 2023 in Levallois”
“We must remain vigilant when it comes to antisemitism."
After the restaurant was vandalized, some speculated that far-right militants were behind it, others criticized the far left for encouraging “new antisemitism” by inviting a controversial rapper Medine to their summer debates.
Police told local media that the vandal was the owner of the commercial premises and that he was angered with the restaurant manager because he owed him rent.
“It was just revealed that the anti-Semitic slogans were written by a 74-year-old Jewish man who says he acted on the back of a commercial dispute,” wrote MP David Guiraud, I hope the morons who accused rapper Medine or our France Unbowed party feel pathetic.”
🤔 L’info est tombée par Le Parisien : Les tags antisémites à Levallois-Perret étaient l’oeuvre d’un homme juif de 74ans qui a évoqué un « litige commercial » avec le restaurant.— David Guiraud (@GuiraudInd) August 24, 2023
J’espère que les abrutis qui ont accusé sans preuves Médine, LFI… se sentent bien misérables 😌👍 pic.twitter.com/O7mUqazJS0
The alleged vandal will be tried in December.