Secret filming by a Jewish journalist in Paris has shown the increase in anti-Semitism in the French capital as he was subjected to spitting and verbal abuse.
Zvika Klein, who works for Jewish news outlet NRG, silently walked through the Paris streets wearing a kippah on his head and a tzitzit, garments associated with the Jewish faith.
During the ten hours he silently walked around Paris, Mr Klein was spat at, threatened and even called a ‘dog’.
He was accompanied by a bodyguard while a photographer, Dov Belhassen, filmed the day using a camera hidden in his backpack. They wandered through Jewish neighbourhoods, around the Eiffel Tower, and then through mostly Muslim neighbourhoods.
In an article accompanying the video, Mr Klein reported one little boy asking his hijab-clad mother: “What is he doing here mummy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?”
Abuse hurled at him include Parisians shouting: “Go f*** from the front and the back,” “Viva Palestine,” “Hey you, with the kippa, what are you doing here?”
He wrote on Youtube: “Welcome to Paris 2015, where soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution, and where keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner. Walking down one Parisian suburb, I was asked what I doing there. In modern-day Paris, you see, Jews are barred from entering certain areas’ the journalist wrote.”
At times, he said, it was like walking in downtown Ramallah where most of the women were wearing the veil or hijab, most men appeared Muslim and Arabic was being spoken everywhere. In a damning indictment of the increasing anti-Semitism in France, Mr Klein wrote, “My heart was pounding and negative thoughts were running through my head. I would be lying if I said I was not afraid.”
Walking by a school in one of Paris’ neighborhoods, a boy shouted “Viva Palestine” at me. Moments later, passing by a group of teens, one of the girls remarked, “Look at that – it’s the first time I’ve ever seen such a thing.”
“Walking down another neighborhood, a driver stopped his car and approached us. ‘We’ve been made,’ I thought. ‘What are you doing here?’ he asked. ‘We’ve had reports that you were walking around our neighborhood – you’re not from around here.'”
While walking in a mostly-Muslim neighbourhood, the journalist reported hearing people say, “Look at him! He should be ashamed of himself. What is he doing walking in here wearing a kippa?!”
At a nearby café two thugs were waiting for Mr Klein on the street corner, yelling “Jew” and spitting at him. Two youths were waiting on the next street corner, as they had apparently heard that a Jew was walking around their neighbourhood. The bodyguard told the two journalists to “leave this area right now”, saying “A few more minutes and this would have been a lynching.”
Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the mass emigration of Jews from Europe to escape the rising tide of antisemitic terror attacks, saying Europe was no longer a safe haven following the Paris attacks and increase in anti-Semitic attacks.
His comments sparked fury and leaders of Germany, France and Denmark refuted his words.
But as Mr Klein said after ten hours of silently walking through a major European capital city, “Jews prefer to stay inside in the evening. It is safer at home.”