It is now beginning to look like the incident with the French woman violently attacked on a train by Arab / North African thugs never happened. According to Bloomberg, "Police have failed to trace any witnesses of the attack and haven't found any evidence of the gang on video footage taken from security cameras." Ha'aretz adds that according to an unattributed report on French television, the woman in question "had previously filed six complaints of assault."
Obviously the first reaction for many people, including myself, will be anger, mainly at the probable backlash. Because of this woman (who is clearly sick), future anti-Semitic incidents may be treated with scepticism. A lot of the sympathy which should be directed towards genuine victims of anti-Semitism in France has now been spent in a hoax. And you can expect several days of commiseration with the North African and Arab communities, who may have a legitimate grudge at being unfairly portrayed as aggressors -- moving the focus away from the genuine victims in all this, the victims of anti-Semitic violence.
However, several hours after first hearing of the holes in the story, I'd like to suggest another reaction. And that is, relief. Relief a woman was spared this horrible incident. Relief that we're not yet at the stage where six thugs on a subway can mutilate a woman out of anti-Semitic motives. Relief that 20-odd French people are not guilty of watching an anti-Semitic attack and doing nothing. And most of all, relief that French Jews, who have enough to be scared of as it is, do not have to be that much more afraid.
Cold comfort, I know -- the fact is, everyone believed this incident could have happened. But it makes a difference that it (apparently) didn't.