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Israel

I’m Not Shocked

The video of a Jew walking the streets of Paris wearing a kippa (yarmulke) and tzitzit (tassels) has received a lot of publicity. Zvika Klein, the journalist who did this, has been interviewed all over the world. Youtube is full of copies of the short video. Here is one of them:

In this interview, both interviewer and interviewee said they were “shocked at their shockedness,” meaning that they were surprised that people around the world were shocked at what happened to him.

I’m not shocked. I’m not even surprised.

Firstly, I’m not surprised it happened. The fact is, I’ve never felt comfortable as a Jew in Europe, and that goes a long way to explaining why I’m here in Israel. It’s not that I ever went around displaying my Jewishness. Just the fact that I was afraid to say I was Jewish, because I couldn’t know what people would think. Ordinary people – not Muslims. I don’t think I ever met any Muslims while living in England. Anti-semitism has become more visible in recent years, but it was always there.

Secondly, I’m not surprised that people are shocked. I think most people don’t understand what it’s like to live as a Jew in the diaspora, and if this video goes a little way towards explaining, then I’m glad.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life.

8 replies on “I’m Not Shocked”

I’m not shocked – but it does make me sad. I feel, increasingly, that voices calling for understanding, for listening to each other, for celebrating difference, are being silenced.

If you go to Stamford Hill in London there are absolutely loads of Hassidic Jews. I suppose here in North London it looks very unexceptional. However, I do believe that some Jewish people feel afraid here. I feel afraid myself that some fanatic will attack us and I am not Jewish. We often eat at the local Jewish centre because the food is good.

I remember, many years ago, there was a bread strike. People bought bread at the local Jewish bakery and realised what they’d been missing. Nowadays, it’s easy to find good bread.

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