Zionist Union MK backs Jews’ right to wear kippot

January 15, 2016  

MK Merav Michaeli of the Zionist Union on Thursday spoke out against the call to Jews in Marseille, France, to stop wearing kippot (skullcaps) in public following this week’s machete attack on a Jewish teacher in the city.

The President of the Jewish community in Marseilles, Zvi Amar, earlier this week stated that Jews in Marseille should take off their kippot in response to the murder, but later clarified that his comments were taken out of context and explained, “I wanted to say that we need to act carefully and be aware…I suggested to the community, specifically to the children, that when they go outside into the street they should wear a hat.”

Michaeli, who is known for her feminist, secular views, on Thursday weighed in on the controversy and said, “It’s no secret that I do not wear a kippah, but I believe in freedom of religion, and when someone threatens the religious freedom of those who want to wear a kippah, I will fight to the end for them to have that right. And this is also true for any identity that there are those who demand we hide because society is not willing to accept it.”

“I’m excited to see the tremendous support and solidarity of the non-Jewish French people who announced that they would don a kippah, in solidarity,” she added.

“Let us remember this day when France stood with us, with our kippot, and know how to work with that for the benefit of our security, not only there but also here, in our nation state,” said Michaeli.

Following the kippah controversy in Marseille this week, scores of Frenchmen put on the ritual head covering in a demonstration of solidarity with Jews.

As well, French parliamentarians Meir Habib and Claude Goasguen joined the demonstration on Wednesday, proudly adorning kippot at the National Assembly as a show of solidarity.

The move was very unusual given France’s principle of “secularism” and its prohibition against wearing religious articles in official or state locations, such as schools.

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