Friday, January 15, 2016

France: Controversy over responses to antisemitic attacks

Sarah AB writes @ Harry's Place:
But even the most rigorous and well funded security measures cannot prevent all crime, and controversy has broken out over the steps French Jews should take to ward off attacks.  The head of Marseille’s Jewish community, Zvi Ammar, has advised that people avoid wearing the kippah in public.
“Not wearing the kippa can save lives and nothing is more important,” Zvi Ammar told La Provence daily. “It really hurts to reach that point but I don’t want anyone to die in Marseille because they have a kippa on their head.”

Ammar said Marseille had the third largest Jewish community in France, adding: “On Saturday, for the first time in my life, I will not be wearing the kippa to the synagogue.
Some have reacted strongly against this advice.  The French Chief Rabbi has encouraged Jews to continue wearing their kippot, and the President of Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France has also spoken out against Ammar’s proposal, saying she:
“could not support a measure which dials back hundreds of years during which Jews were able to practice their faiths and live freely as citizens of the French Republic.” However she did concede that Jewish men might want to “wear a hat on top of their kippah, depending on the situation”.
Although it’s understandable that people might indeed want to respond by taking Ammar’s advice, it’s intolerable that they (and he) have been put in this position.  Some have mounted a campaign to demonstrate solidarity with France’s Jews – #tousavecunekippah.y.
Read more.

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