In a dramatic announcement, the German government’s commissioner to combat antisemitism, Felix Klein, said on Saturday that the country’s Jewish community should avoid wearing kippot in public because of rising antisemitism.
Klein is the first federal government representative to declare that Jews cannot practice their religion in public spaces because of the danger in Germany.
“I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippot everywhere all the time in Germany,” Klein told the Fuke media group.
He added that he “changed his mind [on the subject] compared to previously.”
Klein said he urged training for German police and security officials on fighting antisemitism.
“There is a clear definition of antisemitism, and it has to be taught in police schools,” Klein noted, adding, “It likewise belongs in the education of teachers and lawyers.”
Klein’s call for Jews to not wear kippot comes a little more than a year after Germans and German Jews participated in kippah marches across the country to protest antisemitism.
More than 2,000 people demonstrated in Berlin in April 2018, along with rallies in Cologne, Erfurt, Magdeburg and Potsdam.
The German federal ministry of the interior said there was a 20% increase in antisemitic crimes in the country last year. The interior ministry and security agencies frequently conflate radical Islamic antisemitic attacks with extreme right-wing incidents against Jews.
According to the interior ministry, 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.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has refused to ban the entire antisemitic terrorist organization Hezbollah in Germany. Hezbollah has at least 950 operatives in Germany, according to 2018 intelligence reports reviewed by The Jerusalem Post
The 950 operatives in Germany spread jihadism, lethal antisemitism and recruit new members. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller permits a mixture of Hezbollah activists, pro-Iranian regime supporters, left-wing extremists and neo-Nazis to jointly march each at the annual al-Quds rally in downtown Berlin. The al-Quds rally calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
In May, the Social Democratic Party-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation hosted an Iranian representative from a Tehran institute that advocates Holocaust denial. The secretary-general of the Social Democratic Party, Andrea Nahles, declined to call off the event, which according to critics, mainstreamed Iranian regime Holocaust denial.
Germany’s Social Democratic-controlled foreign ministry celebrated Iran’s revolution in February at Tehran’s embassy in Berlin. Niels Annen, an undersecretary in the ministry, participated in the event, which celebrated a revolution that urged the obliteration of the Jewish state.