BERLIN: Germany’s government commissioner on anti-Semitism has warned Jews about the potential dangers of wearing the traditional kippah cap in the face of rising anti-Jewish attacks.
“I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere all the time in Germany,” Felix Klein said in an interview published on Saturday by the Funke regional press group.
Klein, whose post was created last year, cited “the lifting of inhibitions and the uncouthness which is on the rise in society” as factors behind a rising incidence of anti-Semitism.
“The internet and social media have largely contributed to this — but so have constant attacks against our culture of remembrance.”
And he suggested police, teachers and lawyers should be better trained to recognise what constitutes “clearly defined” unacceptable behaviour and “what is authorised and what is not”.
His comments came just weeks after Berlin’s top legal expert on anti-Semitism said the issue remains entrenched in German society. “Anti-Semitism has always been here. But I think that recently, it has again become louder, more aggressive and flagrant,” Claudia Vanoni said in an interview, adding the problem was “deeply rooted” in German society.
Anti-Semitic crimes rose by 20 per cent in Germany last year, according to interior ministry data which blamed nine out of ten cases on the extreme right.
Klein said that while the far-right was to blame for the vast majority of anti-Semitic crime, it was apparent that some Muslims were also influenced by watching certain television channels “which transmit a dreadful image of Israel and Jews”.
Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2019