Food courier in France arrested for allegedly refusing to serve Jews

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 12: A deliveryman for Deliveroo rides his bike as lockdown continues due to the coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak on April 12, 2020, in Paris, France. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in France, traditional Easter celebrations will not be able to take place as planned. The country is issuing fines for people caught violating its nationwide lockdown measures intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 113,000 lives and infecting over 1,8 million people. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

(JTA) — French police have arrested an Algerian man they say declined to serve Jewish-owned businesses because of anti-Semitic discrimination while working as a food courier in Strasbourg.

The man, Dhia Edine D., is an illegal immigrant, the French lawmaker Meyer Habib wrote Wednesday on Twitter. Earlier this week, Edine D. allegedly told staff from two kosher restaurants that he does “not serve Jews” and thus is canceling their order with Deliveroo, the online delivery service for which he was working.

A Deliveroo France spokesperson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his firm is looking into the case, which was reported to police, and working with police. If the employee, whose employment has been suspended, is found to have violated the firm’s “zero tolerance policy to racism and anti-Semitism” or French law, he will be terminated permanently, the spokesperson said.

Edine D. is scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday, Habib said.

Both incidents happened last week amid a partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited restaurants to offering only meals delivered by couriers.

The case was widely reported in the French media and internationally.

Across Europe, denying service to Jews is especially reviled because it echoes Nazi policies.

France and most other EU member states have laws that make it illegal to deny commercial service on the basis of race, ethnicity, faith, appearance, gender and other characteristics.

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