A man wears a kippa. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Members of the small Jewish community in the West German city of Bochum announced that they will no longer wear kippot because of attacks on them by Muslim youths.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, “Germans, more than any other people in Europe, should understand what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. When I raised the issue brought to Germany by many Arab and Muslim immigrants with the German justice minister, I was told this issue would be dealt with in the context of the German authorities’ efforts to integrate newcomers into German life and values.”
He added, “The German authorities, Church leadership and NGOs have a moral obligation to ensure 21st century German Jews will never have to hide their Jewish identities on the streets of Germany.”
Cooper said that he has not heard of any government efforts to rope in antisemitism among Muslim communities in the Federal Republic since his 2014 meeting with the justice minister.
The news outlet Radio Bochum first reported that a representative of the community said members will stop wearing kippot in public because they are routinely faced with insults on public streets when they are recognized as Jews.
“Muslim youths attacked people of the Jewish faith,” the segment said.
Bochum is an industrial city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with a population of nearly 365,000. Bochum’s Jewish community, which includes the towns of Herne and Hattingen, numbers over 1,000.
Esther Schapira, a German journalist and expert in the field of modern antisemitism, tweeted on Tuesday, “It is often the small [news] items, in which the scandal is hidden, which for most people is not a scandal: Antisemitism in everyday life.”
Schapira along with the journalist Georg M. Hafner wrote one of the authoritative books on contemporary antisemitism in Germany, titled Israel is Blamed for Everything: Why the Jewish state is so hated.
Commenting on the Radio Bochum story, Ali Utlu, a Turkish ex-Muslim activist in Germany, sent a tweet to his over 19,000 followers, stating: “What a disgrace 72 years after the Shoah.”
Bochum has been a hotspot for anti-Israel hatred. In 2014, some 120 activists marched to Bochum’s city hall chanting “Israel, child murderers” and “Allahu Akbar.” The anti-Israel demonstrators protested Israel’s war to stop the Islamic organization Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israeli territory.
Starting in 1941, most of Bochum’s Jews were murdered by the Nazis in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.