Calls for French Jews to leave their skullcaps at home in the wake of a jihadist attack on a kippa-wearing teacher sparked an emotional debate Wednesday pitting security concerns against a desire to uphold Jewish identity.

Parents in the southern city of Marseille, where Monday's vicious attack "in the name of Allah" added to a string of anti-Semitic incidents in recent months, have begun urging their sons to wear a baseball cap instead.

The city's top Jewish leader, Zvi Ammar, had on Tuesday called on Jewish men and boys to stop wearing the kippa "until better days", saying: "Unfortunately for us, we are targeted. As soon as we are identified as Jewish we can be assaulted and even risk death."

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