Three members of a prominent French Jewish family were kidnapped, tied up, brutally beaten and robbed in their home near Paris last Thursday night.
The gang of three men, described as “black men in their 20s or 30s”, broke into the home of Roger and Mireille Pinto whose son David was also living at the home. The attackers first off the electricity before making their way through the house. The first person they found was David, whom they tied up. They continued through the house where they found Mireille.
“I was first caught and gagged, and as I struggled, the first man threw me down,” says 72-year-old Mireille Pinto. “He hit me. I really thought he wanted to rape me. The second one kicked me. And then there’s a whole series of events that lasted a very long time. For us it was really an eternity. It was a very traumatic event.”
They then attacked her husband Roger Pinto, 78, who is the president of the association “Defense of the Jewish people and the State of Israel” in France.
“I was hit on the head,” Roger said. “I fell and they stayed for about ten minutes to hit me. I lost consciousness. A few moments later I woke up and they said, “You are Jewish, we know that the Jews have a lot of money and you will give us what you have. If you do not give us what we ask you, we’ll kill you.”‘
Mr. Pinto continues: “The three men had a screwdriver and a knife in their hand, which they repeatedly threatened us with. They threatened to kill us with. And that was unbearable. These thugs took our blue cards, took all the goods we had, jewelry from my wife. When we realized they were gone, we phoned the police. And today we are in a situation not only of fatigue, but also of anguish. We are completely upset. ”
The Pinto’s were taken to hospital for treatment. They suffered some minor injuries but were deeply traumatized.
The National Bureau for Vigilance against anti-Semitism (BNVCA) called the attack “manifestly anti-Semitic” and “premeditated,” and said the family was “threatened with death” and “violently beaten”.
In a statement on Sunday, CRIF, the umbrella body of French Jewish organizations, said it “powerfully condemns the very violent and anti-Semitic aggression.”
“This odious act is proof, if we needed any, that the Jews of France are especially threatened in the street, and even more disturbingly, within their very homes,” CRIF President Francis Kalifat said.
“After the atrocious murder of Sarah Halimi in her home, this new attack must bring the authorities in our country to a heightened vigilance and deterrence-inducing steps,” he added.
Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jew, was murdered in her own home by her Muslim neighbour who shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he stabbed her and threw her out of her apartment window to her death. Prosecutors dropped the anti-Semitic accusation from his indictment, drawing fierce condemnation from the Jewish community.
At the funeral, MK Michael Malchieli (Shas) said that Halimi had been murdered only because she was a Jew. “In every generation there are those who stand up and seek to destroy us,” he added.