French Jewish leader asks faith­ful to forego kippa to stay safe

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

PARIS — A lead­ing Jewish au­thor­ity in Mar­seille, in south­ern France, asked fel­low Jews on Tues­day to re­frain from wear­ing their tra­di­tional skull cap to stay safe af­ter a ma­chete-wield­ing teen at­tacked a Jewish teacher. Zvi Ammar, head of the Is­raelite Con­sis­tory of Mar­seille, said he is ask­ing Jews to go with­out the kippa “un­til bet­ter days.” His call came a day af­ter a 15-year-old Turk­ish Kurd at­tacked and wounded a Jewish teacher on a street in Mar­seille — France’s se­cond-largest city — then told po­lice af­ter his ar­rest that he acted in the name of the Is­lamic State group. Ammar said his de­ci­sion to ask Jews not to wear the kippa was the hard­est of his life. But he said he prefers “be­ing crit­i­cized for mak­ing this de­ci­sion than re­gret­ting one day if by mis­for­tune some­thing very grave oc­curs.” Ammar spoke on TV sta­tions BFM and iTele. Some Jewish lead­ers dis­agreed with Ammar’s ad­vice, with one call­ing it “de­featist” and the Grand Rabbi of France, Haim Kor­sia, tweet­ing that “we must not cede to emo­tion,” re­marks he made in an in­ter­view on TV5. Af­ter the at­tack, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was opened by the anti-ter­ror­ism sec­tion of the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice in the French cap­i­tal, where the teen will be ques­tioned.

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