Germany’s top official in charge of combatting antisemitism said that Jews should refrain from wearing visible marks of their Jewish identity in certain sections of the country.
In an interview with Funke newspaper, Felix Klein blamed “increasing social disinhibition and brutality” for the difficult reality, saying that “the internet and social media have largely contributed to this, but so have constant attacks against our culture of remembrance.”
Official figures showed 1,646 hate crimes against Jews were committed in 2018 – an increase of 10% on the previous year. Physical attacks against Jews in Germany also rose in the same period, with 62 violent incidents recorded, up from 37 in 2017. Jerusalem Post reported that according to the German Ministry of the Interior, “right-wing extremists committed 90% of the 1,800 incidents in 2018. The real number of Islamic-animated antisemitic attacks in Germany is not well documented due to authorities characterizing Islamic antisemitism as right-wing antisemitism.”
“My opinion has unfortunately changed compared with what it used to be,” he said: “I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany.”
He didn’t specify which places and times might be risky.
Klein went on to recommend that education was needed to change the situation. “There is much insecurity among police and government officials in dealing with anti-Semitism. Many officials do not know what is allowed and what is not,” Klein said. “There is a clear definition of antisemitism, and it has to be taught in police schools,” adding, “It likewise belongs in the education of teachers and lawyers.
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