Israel’s president said Sunday (Monday NZT) he is shocked by a German official’s comment that he wouldn’t advise Jews to wear skullcaps in parts of the country, which is drawing mixed reactions at home.
Felix Klein, the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, was quoted Saturday as saying: “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.
“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,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement.
The rise again of anti-Semitism in Germany is of massive concern. The Guardian suggests it has two sources:
Klein acknowledged that the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers, many from Muslim countries such as Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, has had an impact on the situation in Germany. Some were influenced by watching certain television channels “which transmit a dreadful image of Israel and Jews”, he said.
However, he emphasised that the far-right was to blame for the overwhelming majority of antisemitic crime.
Extremism is bad, whatever its form.