(JTA) – In an unusual ruling, a French court sentenced a 22-year-old Arab man to two months in prison for shouting an anti-Semitic slur at a rabbi and his family.
In his decision on Talal Arrouijal, the judge issued the harshest punishment afforded by the criminal code for verbal assault aggravated by a hate crime, overriding the prosecution’s request for a suspended term of six months. He also issued a $1,200 fine against Arrouijal for the Oct. 12 incident in Nimes, when Arrouijal shouted “dirty Jews” at the rabbi, his wife and their four children as they were leaving a synagogue, according to an article that appeared Tuesday in the Midi Libre daily about the Nov. 30 ruling at the Correctional Tribunal of Nimes.
Arrouijal was identified using a security camera record of the license plate of the car he was driving near the synagogue when he shouted at the rabbi and his family, who were not named in media reports in France about the incident.
He apologized in court, saying he “behaved immaturely” by saying things that he said he wishes “can be taken back.” Arrouijal also said he lashed out at the rabbi and his family because Jews “did bad things to my brothers,” according to the daily.
Nimes is located 60 miles from the southern city of Marseille.