Channel 4 Newscaster Asks Jewish Journalist: Is Wearing Orthodox Clothing in Paris a ‘Provocation’?


Zvika Klein is an Israeli journalist who conducted a field experiment. It involved being filmed for 10 hours as he silently walked the streets of Paris. You may be one of the 4.2 million people who viewed it. The video Klein posted on YouTube shows him being abused, threatened, spat upon and harassed.

Time is necessarily compressed to make the most-viewed online package run at 1.36 minutes, but what remains is an entirely unsympathetic portrayal of sections of the French capital and some of its residents towards a lone, orthodox Jew.

The comments heard are revealing. Klein is asked “are you alright? Are you Jewish?” He is threatened “I’m joking – the dog won’t eat you”: He is spat upon, jeered and catcalled with “Viva Palestine.”

Uncomfortable but necessary viewing for anyone wanting to understand the level of anti-religious hate that exists in France, a country proud of its freedoms and tolerance.

That should have been the end of the story except that for some in the media, the fact Klein did what he did amounts to an act of incitement.

Klein, who works as world correspondent for NRG, an Israeli news website, appeared on Channel Four News to talk about his experience and found his motive challenged.

His interviewer seemed concerned with making the point that minority Muslims may face exactly the same problems as Klein. This was said without offering any evidence in support of the charge.

Then Klein was asked if his actions constituted “an act of provocation.”

His answer is straightforward.

“I don’t think it should be a provocation because this is the way I dress. I wear a kippah on my head every day, everywhere I go except for certain places in Europe because I’m afraid for my safety.

“I wouldn’t recommend my friends in Europe to walk around with this [a kippah] on their head because it’s dangerous.”

“From my standpoint, nobody should be harassed because of their religion. “Religion should be something that you could practice anywhere.”

Klein quite rightly declined to defend himself or his actions. Why should he? He was wearing his everyday clothes, an act that needs no defence. Surely if the same levels of abuse and passive/aggressive behaviour had been directed against a woman, a gypsy, a homosexual, or a person with physical disabilities and Klein had been that person, the line of questioning would have been entirely different.

All of which reinforces this point.

There is strong evidence that Europe is becoming too dangerous for Jews. The political left and some – but not all – of the media find that an uncomfortable question to face.

Instead they blame the victim rather than confront the persecutors while at the same time maintaining the view that radical Islam is a lesser evil than what they think of as the depredations of capitalism and industrialism.

Ergo free, liberal democratic nations predicated on Judeo-Christian ethics must be punished for their success over the manifest failures of socialism.

A virulent culture of hatred and anti-Semitism is coming from somewhere though. Maybe a religion is involved. Anyone got an answer? Anyone?