(IsraelNN.com) French authorities decided on Tuesday that the attack against 22-year-old Audrey Brachelle in Marseilles last Thursday was anti-Semitic. Two Arab men ripped the Star of David necklace from Brachelle’s neck in the attack and carved a swastika on her chest. The definition of the crime as an anti-Semitic attack will increase the punishment facing the attackers, if they are caught.
French Jews say the authorities hesitated to define the crime as anti-Semitic out of concern that their announcement would sway the upcoming presidential elections, which will take place on May 6. Candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has called for the government to deal with increasingly frequent anti-Semitic attacks, and has accused his opponent, Segolene Royal, of being overly lenient in the matter.