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German Jews Warned Against Wearing Skullcaps in Public

Israel's president says he is shocked
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 26, 2019 1:00 PM CDT
People of different faiths wear the Jewish kippah during a demonstration against antisemitism in Germany in Erfurt, Germany, Wednesday, April 25, 2018.   (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

(Newser) – The German government's top official against anti-Semitism says he wouldn't advise Jews to wear skullcaps in parts of the country, the AP reports. Felix Klein was quoted in an interview with the Funke newspaper group published Saturday as saying that "my opinion has unfortunately changed compared with what it used to be" on the matter. 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. Germany's main Jewish leader said last year that he would advise people visiting big cities against wearing Jewish skullcaps.

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. Israel's president reacted strongly to the announcement: "The statement of the German government's anti-Semitism commissioner that it would be preferable for Jews not wear a kippa in Germany out of fear for their safety, shocked me deeply," said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday, per the AP. He added that "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."

(Read more anti-Semitism stories.)

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