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October 22, 2015 12:57 pm

Israeli Journalist Under Fire From European Counterparts for Exposing Extent of French Antisemitism (INTERVIEW)

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Nrg/Makor Rishon journalist Zvika Klein, on his walk through Paris, where he experienced antisemitism. Photo: YouTube/Screenshot.

Nrg/Makor Rishon journalist Zvika Klein, on his walk through Paris, where he experienced antisemitism. Photo: YouTube/Screenshot.

Israeli journalist Zvika Klein has recently become the target of hostile international media outlets and BDS activists for a feature he produced eight months ago.

The piece – a video depicting antisemitism in France – was a YouTube sensation when it first appeared, generating five million views. After that, Klein was interviewed on TV and in print all over the world, which resulted in the clip’s being watched by an exponentially greater number than that.

And now it is having a revival, this time thanks to its main detractors.

The under-two-minute clip shows excerpts of what amounted to 10 hours of film, during which Klein – a writer for nrg/Makor Rishon — walked the streets of Paris, sporting visibly Jewish accouterments. With a kippah (scullcap) on his head and tzitzit (traditional fringe) hanging down the side of his jeans, Klein strolled through a slew of different neighborhoods, while an undercover cameraman, whose equipment was in his backpack, walked ahead of him and filmed from behind.

Klein, too, had a hidden microphone, along with his not-so-hidden agenda: to document the atmosphere in France, following the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, perpetrated by Muslims on a mission to kill Muhammad cartoonists and Jews.

Klein’s two-day traversing of the city best known for the Eiffel Tower, high fashion and fabulous food provided pictorial footage to accompany dry statistics about the rise of antisemitism in Europe generally and France in particular – something that has led to a sharp increase in the number of French Jews immigrating to Israel.

What Klein experienced, and shows on his short clip, was a series of anti-Jewish epithets hurled his way, in addition to some spitting, cursing and ridiculing. (“Dude, he came here to f*** from the front and the back,” one young man said to another, as Klein passed by.)

Though the video might have gone viral in any case, it was given an unwitting boost by being uploaded to the Internet a day after Copenhagen experienced two serious Islamist attacks: one, on February 14, at an event promoting freedom of expression, during which an artist was killed; the second, later that night, at the entrance to the city’s Great Synagogue, where a Jewish security guard was murdered.

Because of its wide circulation, the YouTube hit — with Hebrew, English and French subtitles – caught the attention of France 2, the state-run TV channel that was involved in a decade-long legal battle with French-Jewish activist Philippe Karsenty, over its coverage of the Muhammad al-Dura affair. During the Second Intifada, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy in Gaza was filmed by the French network’s news crew, ostensibly being killed by Israeli gunfire, as he and his father crouched in fear near a wall. An investigation into the incident led to the conclusion that al-Dura, who then became a symbol of Palestinian “resistance” against Israel, and a “martyr” to be emulated by children throughout the West Bank, Gaza and the rest of the Muslim world, was not, in fact, shot by an Israeli bullet. Karsenty even presented compelling evidence that the boy was not even killed during that incident.

Two France 2 reporters, Thierry Vincent and Julien Nativel, decided to put Klein’s thesis about French antisemitism to the test, by producing a video of their own, using the same model. Vincent, though not a Jew, donned a kippah and spent days wandering around Paris. The finished product was released last week.

Lo and behold, as Vincent said he had expected, the results were nothing like those of Klein.

“In the 12 days [I spent] with a kippah [on my head], I experienced no violence or insult,” Vincent asserted. “Antisemitism exists, as all the numbers say, but how is my video so different from that of Zvika Klein? Who is this journalist?”

Casting aspersions on Klein — whose newspaper is one of two media outlets owned by American-Jewish casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (the other one being Israel Hayom) – was easy for Vincent to do on political grounds. The left-wing leanings of his network, as well as its unfavorable coverage of Israel, are no secret.

Still, he did make a special trip to Jerusalem a few weeks ago to meet with Klein and interview him for a broadcast. It was during that session, Klein told The Algemeiner, that Vincent revealed he had created his own video, which yielded opposite results. Far from taunting him, Vincent showed, the public was friendly.

“I told him I was glad to hear that his experiences as a ‘Jew’ in Paris were positive, because all the French Jews I’ve spoken to say they’re afraid to be visibly Jewish,” Klein said. “And I stood by my own findings, which are more in sync with statistics about French antisemitism than his.”

When asked why Vincent and his crew were so keen on refuting his work, Klein used an exchange he had with Vincent’s cameraman – a non-Jew with a Jewish girlfriend. “He told me that when she saw my video, she said she had to leave the country. He then asked me in an accusatory way whether I grasped the detrimental effect such a video can have on French citizens.”

Not only that, said Klein, “They both noted that I work for a paper owned by Adelson and connected to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who had announced that the Jews of Europe are welcome in Israel. The Europeans were mind-blown that a head of a country would encourage the citizens of other countries to move out.”

Klein’s response?

“I told him that I’m a Zionist, so of course I support Aliyah,” he recounted. “But I also want the Jews in Europe to feel safe.”

What Klein had not realized, however, was how such a sentiment might come across. “After viewing my video, members of the Jewish community in France met with me to tell me how happy they were that I helped them make a point about what life is like for them,” he said. “They explained that, for many people, the word ‘Zionist’ is equivalent to ‘jihadist.’”

According to Klein, the France 2 clip has led to whole new wave of negative exposure. “I continue to receive messages on Twitter from anti-Israel or BDS activists calling me a liar, saying that ‘finally the truth has been exposed,’ and using slogans like: ‘Long live Palestine,’” he said.

One such tweet reads: “Debunked: @ZvikaKlein Zvika Klein’s video on his antisemitic ‘experience’ in Paris.”

This contrasts with the response he initially received in February, when he was approached by the U.K.’s Daily Mail, and asked to do the same experiment in London. “That didn’t work out for me, schedule-wise,” said Klein. “But other journalists there and elsewhere in Europe copied the idea and reached the same conclusion as I did.”

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  • AKCanter

    Brilliant post from Draiman. Would he be good enough to reference his post, otherwise quoting his statements – especially in the usual sceptical environment – is inclined to be ridiculed.

  • Adrien

    I’m French and I had no choice but to answer all your absolutely ignorant comments. It is terrifying how biaised and full of hate you all are, and I do not mean that in a positive way. Calling for violence? really?!
    No, I’m not going to deny that antisemitism does exist in my country. However I’m far from sure that by the age of 18 a French jew has been insulted more than a French muslim: everybody has, one day or the other, been cat-called at school…sometimes even called “sale Français” (dirty French).

    Now you should double-check your propaganda, that you dare to present as “facts”. In France, as long as we consider that this country is not a dictatorship, the influence of the government on public-owned media is much less significant than the one of private owners on theirs. Not only the figures given by the extaordingly ignorant Robert Davis are wrong (, but his theory on a supposed organized promotion of antisemitism is ridiculous. Let’s take the two journals you mentioned: 2 out of the 3 co-owners of Le Monde are jews, and so is the owner of Le Figaro. Then your comment also omits the fact that many jews can be found among the most influential journalists, politicians and businessmen of the country….

    When it comes to anti-zionism, no, it’s not even close to antisemitism in its meaning: the former promotes tolerance (refusing exclusion) while the other rejects it.

    Do your researches and get your facts right. Your are just filled with hate.

  • Robert Davis

    In France and elsewhere antisemitism comes from high the government.In this case all of those wretched 5th “republic” governements since general de gaulle in 1958 over half a century! What can be expected from those governments? nothing of course they simply replaced antisemitism with antizyionism and of course the result is the same. Bust and blow up their beloved monuments and everything will change overnight.

  • I am a Jew. I was born in Morocco where I spent 20 years of my life. I moved to France where I had my degree of Pharmacist immunologist. I worked very hard, owned and managed 2 Pharmacies in Nice French Riviera. I shared the same lifestyle attending conferences, elegant dinners, concerts in Monaco at the Prince Rainier’s castle, with highly educated French people who were great, respectful till they knew that I was a Jew. Needless to say that their petrified attitude was rude and despicable.
    I left France with my family 10 years ago to California, I feel safer in a very friendly and safe environment. I don’t regret my luxury life. I think that French people have what they deserve. They made a very bad choice between Muslim who prone death and Jewish people who contributed greatly to make France a great cultural and moral Country. Anti-Semitism has his root in the heart of people who deny or ignore the real meaning of being the chosen people of God by following his ten commandments.

    • Simon Néhmé

      You’re absolutely right Madame, preserve America from this plague. God bless you and bless Israêl, ” hosrom ” in their eyes.
      Simon Néhmé

  • Tabitha Korol

    When all the Jews are gone, then the French will have what they’ve earned: the Muslims. I can just picture the future of Paris’s fashion industry!

    Every time the government of Israel authorizes the establishment of a new town in Judea and Samaria, aka West Bank, the Arabs and their blind supporters claim Israel is infringing upon Arab territory. However, an examination of the facts, especially the post WWI division of the Ottoman Empire, proves such Arab claims are false and without merit.
    Prior to WWI the Ottoman Empire owned about 92% of the land in Palestine. It is a known historical fact that the Nomadic Arabs in Palestine owned no Land in Palestine. Approximately 8% of the land in Palestine was owned by wealthy Arabs, most living outside of Israel. Approximately 2% of the land was owned by some local Arab leaders including the Mufti of Jerusalem.
    Starting in the early 1800’s the Ottoman Empire, in need of revenues, sold land to Jews. Furthermore, most of the land acquired by Jews after WWI, was purchased at premium prices from wealthy Arab absentee owners, as well as some from local Arab leaders. In fact, the Mufti of Jerusalem testified in front of the British Peel commission in 1937, stating that the Jews had purchased their properties and no properties were taken by force from the Arabs.
    The recent furor surrounding Israel’s government’s decision to declare nearly 1,000 acres at Gvaot in Gush Etzion as “State Land”, is a classic example of the ignorance of history and law that governs most discussions of Israeli actions beyond the internationally hallowed “Green Line.” It is a known fact that after WWI the Ottoman Empire territory was divided by the Supreme Allied Powers in the Middle East. The Allied Powers set up 21 Arab states with over 5 million square miles, and one Jewish state in Palestine. Thus, under international law and treaties, Palestine was allocated to the Jewish people. Said allocation was 75,000 square miles and included what is known today as Jordan.
    However, Jordan with the help of the British (again in violation of the mandate and international law) enacted a law that prohibited Jews from purchasing land and residing in the new State of Jordan. Jordan later expelled Jews, and illegally confiscated about 80% of the Jewish allocated land, including all properties, homes, businesses, and other assets.
    Even though Arabs received over 5 million square miles of territory, they weren’t satisfied. As such, other Arab states followed Jordan and expelled over a million Jewish families, most of who resettled in Israel. The Arab states also illegally confiscated all Jewish assets including over 70,000 square miles of real property which is valued today in the trillions of dollars.
    Media headlines around the world screamed about “annexation” and “land grab” by Israel. However, Israel or any Nation cannot be “occupiers” in their own land. Thus, Israel does not need to annex its own territory.
    Of course, the Arab-Palestinian Authority deceptively declared the “State Land” designation by Israel as a “crime”. Moreover, foreign diplomats around the world demanded the reversal of the decision without examining any facts. World diplomats ignored legal precedent making it a violation of international law and treaties to declare Israel as “occupier” of its own historical ancestral land. Yet, few articles, press releases or communiqués mention the crux of the matter; the legal and historical status of the land in question.

    It is time to examine the facts about Judea and Samaria, and other parts of the legal boundary of Israel, as delineated under international law and treaties of post WWI. The post WWI treaties allocated over 5 million square miles to the Arabs, and Palestine’s 75,000 square miles to the Jewish people as their National Homeland in 1920. Yet, over 78% of said Jewish territory was then illegally allocated to the Arabs as the State of Jordan including all the area east of the Jordan River. Not only were Jews prohibited from purchasing property or residing in the new Arab State of Jordan, Jews were expelled from their own land with all of their assets illegally confiscated. It cannot be ignored not one foreign diplomat protested such wanton unlawful acts by Jordan.

  • glenda urmacher

    Every Jew world-wide should cancel all trip planned for France, and any other anti-semitic EU country.
    We Jews should shun European products from wine to perfume.
    You want to be a Jew hater, good, but you shouldn’t expect Jewish dollars to purchase your products.

  • José Frajtag

    In fact a good edition in a Video, can make a very big difference! If you delete all the bad moments, only the good ones will remain! I can´t believe that anybody wearing jewish garments can cross Paris without any problem!

  • steven L

    Europe as far as antisemitism is concerned, is far worst than Muslim antisemitism. Europe is the BIRTHPLACE of antisemitism and it is not willing to give up on this sad truth anytime soon.

  • brenrod

    Isnt france 2 the same network that promoted the pallywood propaganda piece on the fraudulent al dura scandal? Sounds like they are on the same agenda here, to libel Jews.

  • Ephraim

    Unfortunately, in France, the truth can make you dead, G-d forbid.

    • Robert Davis

      It could make deads in the french population too. Then those damned french governments will start to understand not before.

  • ART

    Let France 2 release ALL the hours of video, not justt the edited hours so people can see what they actually experienced. We know how the “proper” editing can change the story

  • Dale Baranowski

    Klein’s work wasn’t debunked. In fact the reason that Vincent, the second journalist, was able to walk through the streets of Paris without Jew-hating epithets being thrown at him because Klein exposed French gentile culture for what it was and the public was embarrassed into acting nicely. With over 5 million hits on his Youtube vid and an unknown number views due to France 2 having aired it, the public was embarrassed. So when Vincent tried the same tactic the French gentile public was much nicer BECAUSE of Klein’s video, and maybe some suspected another media trap. Frankly, if there were anti-Semitic comments in the hours of Vincent’s filming I would not be surprised if they edited them out and lied that there were absolutely no expressions of Jew-hate. After all, leftists are known for distorting the truth when it suits their agenda, and Vincent had enough personal reasons to push the opposite claim.

  • Robert Davis

    Excellent report, I congratulate this journalist for his courage aznd these things must be reported and said. However we should also bring the solution which is VIOLENCE. French people are COWARDS and the only way to have themshut up is VIOENCE. France would not be soantisemite and hostimle to Israel if jews started terror in paris for example blowing their beloved monuments eirffel tower included, harming their tourism, blowing their diplomats and editors. Not only would they stop their terror against jews and Israel but they would let Israel’s propaganda spread in their medias which is not the case presently. It takes violence to be respected by cowards such as the french.

    • David Hoffman

      Herschel Grynszpan tried that approach, and the results weren’t so encouraging. I suggest French Jews continue to play the role of voice-of-sweet-reason.

  • Richard E Sherwin

    well what else could one expect from a leftist who never feels any more uncomfortable in france than his brit pals who work for the guardian in what used to be manchester or american ones for the NYT. as for the israel ha’aretz crew, apparently the only time they feel uncomfortable as ‘jews’ is when they walk among religious jews … of nearly all persuasions….

    im sure eventually there’ll be someone video-ing how lovingly the banlieu muslims welcome jews, too….

    • Robert Davis

      Blow them all up and you’ll see how they will respect jews. They believe in violence and despise those who do not use it not just because they think they are cowards but also because it works and therefore they are fools not to use it.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    The idea to walk the streets of Paris videotaped dressed as an observant Jew was and still is cogent proof that anti-Semitism is rampant there. I would think that such an experiment would probably receive a similar in many main cities in several countries in Europe. Exposing a scourge is a valuable tool to make it a topic, if not a controversy, for open discussion on the road to attempting to remediate the affliction before it becomes even more virulent.

    • Robert Davis

      The only way to stop it is VIOLENCE on the part of Jews. Small size or large size VIOLENCE WORKS and it is a good method and even a therapy to avoid a general explosion. I strongly recommend it to avoid ww3

  • Dr. Rosine Abergel Ferber

    I am a French Jew. I was born and raised in France and lived there until 1970 when I imigrated to the United States – I was 15 years old.
    I have to say that I wholeheartedly believe Mr. Klein’s findings. My experience of France is that it is widely antisemite. When I remember my childhood, I have so many painful memories of getting told such things as “sale juive” “retourne dans ton pays” (“dirty jew” “go back to your country”), or accused of having killed Jesus. I was even told that I could have been such a nice girl if I wasn’t Jewish!…
    So much so, that my mother decided to leave and settle in the US where my family and I have felt welcome and have been very happy. I have no regrets –
    Now, France has been invaded by radical muslims…. we’ll see if they like that better!

    • Robert Davis

      Stupid and arrogant french take it very seriously being…”la fille ainée du catholicisme”. I never tell them this word but “catho-coliques” and when they ask me what I mean by that I tell them “les catholiques qui me donnent la colique”.Then they laugh a …”rire jaune” as they say!

  • obviously lots here that worrisome, but most of all, the motivation of the france2 reporter: “I want Jews in Europe to feel safe.” – to feel, rather than to be?

  • marlene

    It’s because of the lousy journalism of these international so-called “media” outlets that europe’s in such a mess! These bought and sold goons spend their time and ink fighting AGAINST the truth instead of FOR it! Of course they’re miffed – they want their next bribe check they sold out for! French antisemitism DOES exist in a despicable and ugly way from the despicable and ugly French “citizens” who get away with it!

    • Robert Davis

      Marlene :in fact it is organised by the french govt. / it pays the medias to spread anti-zyionism and probably appreciate it if the pressure includes antisemitism to spread such a pr against Israel. New<spapers such as LeMonde et Le Figaro the largest get from the govt's subventions which amount to 50 and 60 millions euros per year. At this price papers are ready to assert the sun runs around the earth in particular since less and less people buy their torchons.

  • Great article. What bravery he has. AntiSemitism is a cancer, metastasizing globally. It is out duty to shout the truth.

    • Robert Davis

      “Shout the truth” is only the DIAGNOSTIC. In médicine what do you do when the lab gives you its diagnotic? you get a treatment. In this case the treatment is VIOLENCE. Now you have your diagnostic WHY THE HECKLE DON T YOU TAKE YOUR TREATMENT? it is next step.

  • Dan

    So because his message highlighting Jew-hatred was supposedly debunked, Klein gets hateful messages, essentially because he’s a Jew. How ironic.

    • Robert Davis

      What’s hate messages? NIL NADA 0 NOTHING non entities. Everybody ignores that crap. TAKE YOUR TREARTMENT INSTEAD NOW and show them you do not give a damn for their hate messages.