French city closes street to traffic through Yom Kippur
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The French city of Metz closed a street to vehicular traffic for the High Holy Days, provoking angry reactions from some Muslims.
Rabbin Bloch Street was closed on the afternoon of Sept. 6, the second day of Rosh Hashanah, and was set to reopen at the close of Yom Kippur, the night of Sept. 14, according to the website of TCRM, the public transport company of the Messine region.
The website cited “the Jewish holidays” for closing the street, where several Jewish institutions are located.
Metz, some 40 miles northwest of Strasbourg in eastern France, had a Jewish population of approximately 4,000 in 1987, according to the Encyclopedia Judaica. The city’s Jewish community was established in the 16th century.
Some Muslims said the street closure reflected a double standard in the attitude of French authorities to Jewish and Muslim sensibilities in applying separation of church and state. — jta
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