Germany Tells Jews to Stop Wearing Skullcaps in Public
German Government urges Jewish citizens to not wear Kippahs to avoid discrimination
Germany's government is urging Jewish citizens to stop wearing traditional skullcaps in public over concerns about rising discrimination in the country, according to reports.
The German commissioner for combating anti-Semitism, Dr. Felix Klein, urged the country's Jews to stop wearing the traditional Jewish Kippah caps due to a recent surge in anti-Semitic attacks, a report from the Guardian reveals.
“I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere, all the time, in Germany,” Klein said during an interview with the Funke regional press group.
The remarks have sparked international ire and were criticized by Israel's president as representing a “capitulation” to anti-Semitism.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Sunday that Klein’s remarks “shocked” him, and while appreciating Germany’s “commitment to the Jewish community,” accused the government of bowing to those targeting Jews.
“Fears about the security of German Jews are a capitulation to anti-Semitism and an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil,” said Rivlin.
“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.”
According to the Daily Caller, the comments sparked a flurry of criticism from foreign officials including Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany, and President Reuven Rivlin of Israel.
Grenell responded to the message from Klein on Twitter, saying, “The opposite is true.
"Wear your kippa. Wear your friend’s kippa.
"Borrow a kippa and wear it for our Jewish neighbors.
"Educate people that we are a diverse society.”
The opposite is true. Wear your kippa. Wear your friend’s kippa. Borrow a kippa and wear it for our Jewish neighbors. Educate people that we are a diverse society. https://t.co/vd9nV9AvPG— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) May 26, 2019
Threats of anti-Semitic violence have been prevalent in Germany for some time due largely to the growing presence of far-right political elements in Europe, according to the Guardian.
Klein stated in the interview, “Antisemitism has always been here.
"But I think that recently, it has again become louder, more aggressive and flagrant.”
President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, echoed a similar message to Klein’s in 2018.
Speaking on Berlin public radio, Schuster said that “I would advise individual people against openly wearing a kippa in big German cities,” and that German Jews should exercise caution, according to AFP.