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Calls for Jewish people to remove their skullcaps provokes brilliant response in France

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Marseille's Mayor speaks with the Jewish community on 14 January 2016 (Picture: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Zvi Ammar, the main Jewish leader in the French city of Marseille, urged men to stop wearing the skullcap “to avoid being identified as Jewish” following anti-semitic attacks.

He said the advice was an “exceptional measure” needed to protect Jewish lives "to avoid being identified as Jewish”.

The advice came following a violent anti-semitic attack on Benjamin Amsellem, a teacher, on Monday 11 January.

Amsellem was left with an injured shoulder and hand, while a 15-year-old boy has since been charged with the attack, accused by prosecutors of carrying out the crime in loyalty to Isis.

A campaign has since been started by two French women in response to the comments, using the hashtag #TousAvecUneKippa ("Everyone with a kippah"), calling on French people of all backgrounds to don the skullcap as a show of solidarity.

Sophie Taieb, who is Jewish and Kerima Mendes, who is not, told the BBC Trending:

We wanted to do something funny. There was black everywhere, so we wanted to do something funny.

The idea is that everybody - Jewish or not - should wear a kippah, because it everybody wears one, nobody is a target anymore.

The campaign has been prominent on French social media, trending on Twitter:

Johan Sfar, a cartoonist who has collaborated with Charlie Hebdo in the past, also contributed his input in characteristic form:

The translation of the defiant cartoon reads:

I have always detested/hated religious signs. But now that in France I see that we're advising Jewish people to not wear a kippah 'for their security', I fancy wearing a kippah, bunches and to have the Rabbi Jacob at full blast on my walkman. Yes, I said walkman.

The 'Rabbi Jacob' reference appears to be in reference to a 1973 French comedy about a bigoted man who has to impersonate a popular Rabbi while on the run from a crime syndicate and the law.

France’s Chief Rabbi Chaim Korsia dismissed the call to abandon kippah's, saying:

We should not give an inch. We should continue wearing the kippah.





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