President Rivlin: Jews are not safe in Germany – Never react to anti-Semitism with defeatism
President Reuven Rivlin expresses shock at Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner call for German Jews to avoid wearing kippah in public due to security concerns.
“The statement… shocked me deeply,” Rivlin said Sunday.
“Responsibility for the welfare, the freedom and the right to religious belief of every member of the German Jewish community is in the hands of the German government and its law enforcement agencies,” he says.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the moral position of the government of Germany and its commitment to the Jewish community that lives there, but fears about the security of German Jews are a capitulation to AntiSemitism and an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil”.
“We will never submit, will never lower our gaze and will never react to anti-Semitism with defeatism – and expect and demand our allies act in the same way,” President Rivlin added.
The German government’s top official against anti-Semitism said Saturday 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.
He added that Germany’s police forces have not been properly trained to deal with anti-Semitic crime.
Felix Klein was appointed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year as the anti-Semitism commissioner. He 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.”
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.