Video Aims To Show What 10 Hours Of Walking In Paris As A Jew Looks Like
The Huffington Post | By Cavan Sieczkowski
A month after a gunman killed four people at a kosher market in Paris, following a larger attack on Charlie Hebdo, Jewish journalist Zvika Klein decided to record 10 hours of walking through the French capital to show what it’s like for a Jew in the city.
Klein embarked on the 10-hour trek wearing a kippah, or yarmulke. A photographer traveled with Klein through the streets of Paris and nearby suburbs, recording the journey using a GoPro hidden in a backpack. The footage was edited down to a 90-second clip and published on the Israeli news site NRG.
In the video, Klein can be seen walking silently. Things got tense when he leaves popular tourist destinations and heads for public housing neighborhoods. There, Klein is met with remarks like “Jew,” “homo” and “Viva Palestine.” Some spit at him and others follow him. In his report for NRG, he wrote that a little boy asked his mother “What is he doing here Mommy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?”
The video has garnered more than 1 million views since being posted to YouTube Sunday.
Klein said he was inspired by a 2013 story in which a Jewish reporter for The Local in Sweden donned a kippah and walked around Malmö, a city known for anti-Semitism. Klein called his own experience “frightening” and “depressing.”
“I have been writing about anti-Semitism in France for years,” he told France’s The Local. “If I wanted, I could write an article about it every day – there’s always some kind of incident. I just had to see it for myself.”
Critics have said the video has been edited to portray a “false impression,” according to the BBC, and some have taken issue with the fact that Klein walked through poorer, predominantly Muslim neighborhoods. But Klein, who was trailed by a bodyguard during the walk, said he does not see this as baiting.
“If I was walking around with an Israeli flag, I understand it might create negative feelings. But I don’t think [wearing a kippah] should generate that kind of thing,” he told the BBC.
Reports of rising anti-Semitic attacks in Europe have been surfacing since the summer. After last week’s shooting at a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried the attack as “extremist Islamic terrorism” and said European Jews are welcome to move to Israel.
“This wave of attacks and the murderous anti-Semitic assaults that are part of it is expected to go on,” he said, per Reuters. “Jews deserve protection in every country but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe.”
Klein could not be immediately reached for further comment.