The body of a French Jewish municipal councillor was found Tuesday morning at his apartment, stabbed multiple times and badly beaten according to police sources quoted by Le Figaro.
Alain Ghozland, 73, was described by the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) as a “prominent leader of the local Jewish community.”
Originally from Algeria, he lived in the heavily Jewish Paris suburb of Créteil, about seven miles from the French capital. It is also the town where a Jewish couple was attacked – and raped – by robbers in December 2014.
“People are upset. They do not know what to think and ask a lot of questions,” a relative told L’Express and other media.
He was found after his brother called police when he did not show up for regular shacharit morning prayers at their synagogue.
According to the report by Le Figaro, there were also signs of forced entry into Ghozland’s home, and that the apartment was ransacked. His car was also missing.
The family has raised the possibility that he was attacked due to his identity as a Jew. Judicial sources have said an autopsy is to be performed to determine the cause of death due to the attack.
Police have no leads as yet, according to L’Express.
Also on Tuesday, French Jewish community leaders began debating whether Jewish men in Marseille should remove their yarmulkahs when walking in public due to the rise in deadly anti-Semitic attacks. But the Chief Rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, nixed the idea and said, “We should not give in to anything, we will continue to wear the kippah.”
The debate came a day after a machete-swinging teenage terrorist stabbed Binyamin Amsalem outside a Marseille synagogue as he was walking to the Franco-Hebraic Institute, where he is a teacher of Jewish subjects.
The nearly 16-year-old attacker informed investigators when he was caught (about ten minutes after the attack) and taken into custody that he was “acting for Da’esh” (ISIS) and that when he is released, he will arm himself and kill police.Hana Levi Julian