Israeli captures 10 hours of harassment in Paris

Reporter dons kippa, documents insults as he walks through the streets of the French capital

Israeli reporter Zvika Klein on a street in Paris, February 2015 (screen capture: YouTube)
Israeli reporter Zvika Klein on a street in Paris, February 2015 (screen capture: YouTube)

An Israeli journalist who for hours walked around Paris while wearing a kippa to test attitudes to Jews documented multiple threats and insults hurled in his direction.

Zvika Klein, a reporter for the news site and the Makor Rishon daily, released on Sunday the footage from his walk last week around Paris and its suburbs (Klein’s report is here).

Many anti-Semitic incidents occurred while Klein was walking in the suburb of Sarcelles, which sports a large Muslim population, whereas his wandering through Paris’ center was considerably calmer by comparison, he told JTA last week.

In one scene, a person wearing a black knit cap said “Jew” and walked alongside Klein, who was being filmed secretly by a colleague wearing a backpack fitted with a rear-pointing recorder. In two separate incidents, one involving a man and the other a woman, passersby span in Klein’s direction as he walked past them.

In another part of Paris, passersby called out “Vive Palestine” at him. In several cases, locals hurled profanities at Klein, calling him a homosexual and suggesting he had come to their neighborhood looking for sex.

The video, titled “10 Hours of Walking in Paris as a Jew,” was inspired by a video that shows Shoshana Roberts being sexually harassed repeatedly while walking around in New York. Since it was published on YouTube, her video has registered more than 39 million views.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in France has more than doubled in 2014 over the previous year, reaching a five-year-record of 851 instances.

In January, a reporter who walked around the Swedish city of Malmo while wearing a kippa to test attitudes toward Jews was hit and cursed at by passersby before he fled for fear of serious violence.

Sveriges Television aired secretly recorded footage from Petter Ljunggren’s walk through Malmo, which documented some of the incidents that occurred within the space a few hours.

In one scene, Ljunggren — who, in addition to wearing a kippa was also wearing Star of David pendant — was filmed sitting at a café in central Malmo reading a newspaper, as several passersby hurled anti-Semitic insults at him.

Elsewhere, one person hit his arm, the reporter said on camera, though this was not recorded. One of the people who cursed Ljunggren called him a “Jewish devil,” “Jewish shit” and another told him to “get out.”

Dozens of anti-Semitic incidents are recorded annually in Malmo, a city where first- and second- generation immigrants from the Middle East make up one third of a population of roughly 300,000. Several hundred Jews live there.

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