Police in Sarajevo said on Tuesday after a two-day investigation that they had managed to identify and arrest a person who had attacked and physically injured Eli Tauber, adviser on Culture and Religious Affairs at the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Despite the fact that the motive of the attack has yet to be clarified, the incident has received high-profile coverage by local media because of fears that Tauber was attacked because he is a prominent member of the Jewish community.
The Dnevni Avaz daily devoted the cover page and first three pages of its Tuesday edition to the incident, carrying numerous reactions and condemnations, including one by the President of the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jakob Finci, who warned that something like that had not happened in Sarajevo in 70 years.
“If he was attacked because he is Jewish and because as such he is present in our media, just because he is doing his job, then it would be a very bad sign both for Sarajevo and for Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Finci said.
The attack took place on Saturday evening in a cafe in central Sarajevo, in front of many witnesses. Tauber told the Oslobodjenje daily of Tuesday that he was in the company of American journalists from National Geographic magazine who were interviewing him about the status of Jews in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The weapon used by the attacker was a weight attached to a chain. Tauber is convinced that he would have been killed had the attacker managed to hit him in the head with that mace-like object.
Tauber is an active member of the Jewish community in Sarajevo and a staunch advocate of the truth about the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially about the suffering of citizens of Sarajevo during a siege. In his public statements, he unreservedly compared the suffering of the country’s Muslims during the war with the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust.