Europe 2019: German official warns Jews against wearing kippah in public

Europe 2019: German official warns Jews against wearing kippah in public

The German government’s top official against anti-Semitism says he wouldn’t advise Jews to wear kippahs in parts of the country.

He said: “I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany.” He didn’t elaborate on what places and times might be risky.

Klein added that Germany’s police forces have not been properly trained to deal with anti-Semitic crime.

Felix Klein, who was appointed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year as the anti-Semitism commissioner said that about 90 percent of the anti-Semitic crimes in Germany are committed by far-right activists, “although there are Muslims who have been living here for a while and watch Arab channels in which a murderous image of Israel and of Jews is shown.”

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His highly irregular and strongly-worded comment was perceived as such especially because Germany is home to some 100,000 Jewish citizens. The fact that the warning now comes from the German government highlights the gravity of the situation in the country.

Last year, it was the head of the Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, who called on Jews visiting large cosmopolitan cities to remove their skullcaps.

Three years prior, Schuster also cautioned against wearing a kippa in areas with large Muslim populations.

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Government statistics released earlier this month showed that the number of anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner incidents rose in Germany last year, despite an overall drop in politically motivated crimes.

In 2018, at least 1,083 anti-Semitic incidents took place in Germany, which is 14 percent more than the previous year, according to the non-governmental research and information center anti-Semitism in Berlin (Rias).

The data indicated that xenophobic incidents in the country rose by 19.7 percent to 7,701, amid an overall uptick in hate crimes.