Israeli president 'shocked' at German official's warning to Jews against wearing kippah

Israeli president 'shocked' at German official's warning to Jews against wearing kippah
© Getty

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that he is “shocked” by comments from a German official warning the country’s Jews against wearing their kippahs in public.

“The statement of the German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner that it would be preferable for Jews not wear a kippah in Germany out of fear for their safety, shocked me deeply,” Rivlin said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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,” he added.

Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner on anti-Semitism, was quoted in a Saturday Yahoo News report saying that due to rising anti-Semitism in the country, he “cannot advise Jews” to wear the religious caps “everywhere all the time in Germany.” 

Klein pointed to a “lifting of inhibitions and the uncouthness which is on the rise in society" as contributing to a 10 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, including a 60 percent increase in physical attacks.

Jewish leaders in Germany have called on the government to do more to protect the country’s Jews.

According to the AP, Klein defended his statement to German outlet dpa, saying he intended to be “provocative.”

“[I] wanted to initiate a debate about the safety of the Jewish community in our country,” he told the outlet. “Of course I believe that there must not be no-go areas anywhere in Germany for Jews or members of other minorities.”