Saturday, March 07, 2015

"Walking while Jewish" in Europe

An article from the Daily Mail presents several instances of people "walking while Jewish" through various European cities - all men wearing kippot.

In Bradford and Manchester, British journalist Jonathan Kalmus encountered antisemitic jeers and insults, and one person followed him and took pictures of him.
He writes: "'You Jew' was the anti-Semitic scream which came from a passing car. My shaken wife tried to explain it away to my seven-year-old daughter as a very large sneeze. They were simply playing in a local park in Manchester a few weeks ago when the incident ripped through what should have been a peaceful and wholesome time for any mother and child. 
"'Fight the Jewish scum' and 'Jew, Jew, Jew... Run', were the more vicious threats hurled at me in the past few days, however, when I decided to secretly film and find out whether 'Jew-hatred' really is alive and kicking on British streets."
The article also reports on similar walks; in Paris, by Israeli journalist Zvika Klein, who was a victim of harassment, threats, and spitting; in Copenhagen, where Omar Shargawi, an award-winning Palestinian-Danish documentary maker, put on a kippah - for the most part he was not harassed except when someone shouted "F**k you little Jew"; in Rome Ben Katz was greeted in a friendly fashion by some people who said "Shalom" or "Shabbat Shalom" to him, but he was also cursed at by right-wing hoodlums; in Berlin Adam Goldman was undisturbed, except when some teenagers "turned their heads and pointed as if they couldn't get over the fact that there was a real living Jew standing close to them but that is just ignorant teenagers"; and finally in Stockholm, Simon Moser rode the subway and got no reaction whatsoever from people who saw him.

In Germany I've felt quite apprehensive about wearing a star of David on a necklace, but perhaps I shouldn't be so nervous about it. It seems like I'd get a far more hostile response in other parts of Europe.

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