German anti-Semitism commissioner warns Jews not to wear skullcaps

Berlin - By Michael Zehender, - The German government's anti-Semitism commissioner has warned Jews not to wear kippahs in public spaces, saying he had changed his mind on the matter due to a recent rise anti-Semitic crimes in the country.

"I am sorry to say that I cannot recommend that Jews wear the kippah everywhere in Germany," Felix Klein said in comments carried by Funke media group newspapers on Saturday.
In recent years, Klein said, it had become increasingly socially acceptable to voice anti-Semitic views, and that this had caused him to change his mind about the safety of wearing skullcaps in public.
Klein said that 90 per cent of people who commit anti-Semitic crimes in Germany were right-wing extremists, while a much smaller number are Muslims "who watch Arabic television channels that convey a terrible image of Israel and Jews."
Former politician and talk show host Michel Friedman, one of the most prominent members of Germany's Jewish community, called Klein's comments an "admission of failure" by the government in protecting Jewish citizens.
"If a representative of the federal government officially tells the Jewish community, 'You are not safe from anti-Semitism and violence everywhere in Germany,' this is an indictment of the rule of law and the political reality in Germany," Friedman said.
"I recommend everyone take these statements very seriously - where Jews cannot live safely and freely, others will not be able to do so either in due course," he said.
The number of anti-Semitic crimes committed in Germany increased from 1,504 in 2017 to 1,646 in 2018 - a rise of 10 per cent. The number of cases considered violent increased from 37 to 62 over the same period, according to official figures.

Saturday, May 25th 2019
By Michael Zehender,

New comment:

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport

At a glance