German official warns Jews over wearing kippah in public

A Germany newspaper, Bild, published a cut-out kippah (yarmulke) on its front page yesterday urging readers to show their solidarity with the country’s Jewish community.

This came a day after Germany’s commissioner for Jewish life in Germany warned Jews that they should no longer wear a kippah in public in the wake of rising anti-Semitic attacks. 

“I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere all the time in Germany,” Felix Klein said.

Anti-Semitic crimes were up 20 percent in Germany last year, according to government numbers. But the suggestion that drew shock and ire from German Jews and Israeli officials.

Israeli President Rueven Rivlin said the warning itself is a “capitulation to anti-Semitism and an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil.”The days that we allow anti-Semites in Europe to push Jews around are over. The last time, it led to 6,000,000 deaths. This time, we will not go as sheep to the slaughter.

“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,” Rivlin said.

German Jews were also justifiably outraged. Joining the charge against Klein’s statements was Germany’s Bild newspaper which on Monday included a cutout kippah and encouraged people to wear it to show their support of Jews.

“If even one person in our country can’t wear a kippa without putting themselves in danger, the only answer is that we all wear a kippah, Bild Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt wrote on Twitter on Sunday, announcing the paper’s response to Klein. “The kippa belongs to Germany!”

The newspaper’s cut-out kippahs sport three Stars of David. Readers of the paper were urged to make their own kippahs, wear them and share images online in solidarity with the Jewish community.

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