Israeli television reporter Miri Michaeli said she never intended to make public the video showing her preparing for a live shot in Paris last month.
But after being asked by viewers if the media is exaggerating European anti-Semitism, the Europe correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 news changed her mind and decided to share what happened to her in March when she was covering the Germanwings crash.
On that particular day, she explained on Facebook Thursday, she had just gotten off the train from London and was about to head to the French Alps to report on the plane crash. Before continuing her journey she had to file a report outside the Gare du Nord train station in Paris.
The video she posted shows the moments before her live report began.
“What you see here is only the beginning,” Michaeli explained. “The man whose face you don’t see in the video identifies Hebrew on the microphone, passes the information to his friends and starts to harass. What happened afterward was much more stressful [as] they surrounded me, four or five men, and began to curse me, the word ‘Jew’ repeated over again.”
"My hands are shaking three weeks later when I remember the things they said," Michaeli recalled. "I was standing in the street not bothering anyone, and I got vigorously cursed (along with aggressive hand motions) — and threatened.”
She was particularly disturbed by the fact that none of the numerous bystanders who she said witnessed how she was being abused bothered to step in and help her, writing:
I looked around. The street was packed with people who noticed what was going on, they watched from the side, and someone even recorded everything with a smartphone, but no one came forward to help me.
When I felt threatened, I ran off (yes, that’s the right word) to the train station, where there were soldiers. Only then did they leave me alone.
I was harassed in the center of Paris only because I was holding a microphone with Hebrew on it. So no, we [the media] didn’t exaggerate. This is reality. Now we must fight it.
Michaeli noted that those who do not wear symbols identifying their faith would likely not feel threatened.
"So it's true if you walk down the streets of Paris, you may not feel anything. But if you wear a kippah, wear a Star of David necklace or hold a microphone that says 'News 10' in Hebrew, there’s a reasonable basis to assume that sooner or later you’ll realize that the situation is worse than the statistics show,” she said. “It’s happening here, every day, and in every place, and it happened to me, too.”
Israeli reporter Zvika Klein in February had a similar experience to Michaeli, though his report was part of an experiment examining anti-Semitism.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris targeted the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and a kosher supermarket, Klein walked for hours around Paris dressed as an Orthodox Jew and was met with repeated insults and curses.
(H/T: Arutz Sheva)