A correspondent for the Jewish news site NRG donned recognizably Jewish clothing and proceeded to walk around Paris for ten hours. He wanted to see the reaction.
Correspondent Zvika Klein wore a kibbah (yarmulke) and a tzitzit, which are knotted fringes or tassels that hang down from the four corners of either a prayer shawl or from an everyday undergarment. Both kibbah and tzitzit are common sights in New York and other cities with sizable Jewish populations of observant, usually Orthodox Jews.
Klein points out that Paris these days is a city “where keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner” but where “soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution.”
“For 10 hours, I quietly walked down the streets and suburbs of Paris, with photographer Dov Belhassen documenting the day using a GoPro camera hidden in his backpack. Given the tensions in Paris, which is still reeling from a wave of terrorist attacks (including the murder of Charlie Hebdo magazine journalists), I was assigned a bodyguard,” he writes.
Klein started in the tourist areas which were relatively calm for his experiment, but as he walked further from them, “the more anxious I became over the hateful stares, the belligerent remarks, and the hostile body language.”
A boy allegedly said to his hijab-wearing mother, “What is he doing here, Mommy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?”
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