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France’s chief rabbi says Jews should ‘continue wearing kippa’

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Paris: The chief rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, today rejected a call by the leader of Marseille’s Jewish community for Jews in the city to stop wearing skullcaps to avoid being targeted by extremists.

“We should not give an inch, we should continue wearing the kippa,” Korsia said, reacting to a call by Zvi Ammar, head of the Israelite Consistory in Marseille, which has witnessed a string of attacks on Jews recently.

Roger Cukierman, the head of France’s umbrella grouping of Jewish organisations, CRIF, agreed with Korsia, telling AFP that Ammar’s advice reflected “a defeatist attitude.”

After a machete attack yesterday on a Jewish teacher wearing a skullcap Ammar had urged: “Remove the kippa during this troubled time until better days.”

Yesterday’s attack by a 15-year-old Turkish Kurd was the third on Jews in recent months in Marseille, which counts some 70,000 Jews in a population of 855,000, making it the second-largest Jewish population in France after that of Paris.

The teacher escaped with minor injuries.

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