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30 Nov, 2023 06:58

French Jews hiding their names – Le Figaro

Some are trying to keep a low profile by hiding their kippahs under caps and removing Jewish names from mailboxes and mobile apps, the newspaper reports
French Jews hiding their names – Le Figaro

Israel’s brutal retaliation against Gaza following the deadly October 7 Hamas attack has prompted a surge of anti-Semitism across France, forcing many Jews to hide their identities as they face discrimination, threats, and violence in their day-to-day lives.  

An investigation published on Wednesday by Le Figaro newspaper reported several incidents of Jews encountering newfound resentment while going about their daily business in France, where approximately 10% of the population is Muslim. According to interviews conducted by the outlet, they are finding it everywhere from taxis to barbershops. 

Jews are being denied commercial services, wrote the newspaper, citing a 60-year-old rabbi who said he had received a message from Uber warning him that his account was terminated because of the low ratings given to him by the drivers. The man only learned the reason for his suspension when a Muslim driver told him that the fact he is Jewish is to blame for his poor rating, adding that some of his colleagues had rated the passenger poorly because he was wearing a traditional skullcap, a kippah.   

In another episode reported by Le Figaro, a 31-year-old woman said she was taking legal action against a Paris barbershop she had been visiting for the last three years after they refused her an appointment on the grounds that she is Jewish. “I won’t do your hair, because I support Palestine, and you’re Jewish!” a hairdresser told her when she arrived for an appointment. 

Several of those interviewed by Le Figaro complained that even the national postal service has become a source of anti-Semitic vitriol. Packages sent to Israel are frequently delivered late and sometimes in poor condition, with ‘Israel’ crossed out and changed to ‘Palestine’.  

In response, Jews are trying to keep a low profile by removing the traditional Jewish signs from their doors, hiding their kippahs under caps, and removing Jewish names from mailboxes and mobile apps, according to reports.  

More than 1,500 anti-Semitic acts have been recorded since the war began, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said earlier in November in an interview by broadcaster Europe 1. The figure represents a threefold increase compared with the whole of 2022. anti-Semitic incidents are also on the rise in Germany and the UK. 

Earlier this month, more than 180,000 people across France, including tens of thousands in Paris, joined protests against the surge in anti-Semitism in the country.