Terrorizing Cultural Expression in France



French-Israelis hold a sign reading “Jews of France in danger, your place is in Israel” during a rally in Tel Aviv in memory of the shooting victims in France on March 22, 2012. Israel was set up as a haven for Jews whose lives were threatened, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he met the families of four people killed in a French shooting attack. Photo by Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90 *** Local Caption *** ????? ???? ?????


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A school teacher (age 35) was brutally attacked by a 15 year old Kurdish teen, claiming allegiance to ISIS he bludgeoned Benjamin Amsellem with a machete. Fortunately Benjamin’s injuries weren’t life threatening.  After the attack Zvi Ammar, the head of Marseille’s Israelite Consistory, was quoted saying “Life is more scared than anything else. We are forced to hide a little bit.” As he urged the Jewish community to refrain from wearing skullcaps known as yamakas. Contemplating this request Ammar said this decision made him “sick to his stomach.”

This attack was the third in the past month in Marseille, France. This French city has the second largest Jewish population in France right behind Paris. Ammar goes on to say “Unfortunately for us, we are targeted. As soon as we are identified as Jewish we can be assaulted and even risk death”. He said he felt sad that in 2016, Jews were finding themselves in such a horrible position in such a great democracy such as France.

“But faced with an exceptional situation, we have to take exceptional measures. It causes me such pain to come to this conclusion but I do not want anyone to die in Marseille because they had a kippah on their head.”


Without freedom to express religion a whole people’s voice can go unheard and suppressed and if the global community lets these terrorist groups and governments in the middle east continue then we are at risk at losing an entire culture. Jews are not the only religious group to be persecuted, Christians who already have to pay a tax to remain alive in Syria are being hunted and killed. Without culture what do dignity do we really have?

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