Setting an example against anti-Semitism

The Berlin government's anti-Semitism commissioner has urged Germans to wear kippahs in public on Saturday.

Kippah-debate in Germany
Wearing the kippah as a stance on diversity and freedom of religion dpa

Berlin (dpa) - Anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein said, in comments carried by Funke media group newspapers on Tuesday, that people should wear Jewish skullcaps in a bid to show solidarity with Jews and take a positive stance on diversity and freedom of religion.

Saturday is Al-Quds day, which marks the occupation of East Jerusalem by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestinian groups launch protests to mark their resistance to Israeli occupation on the day.

"I call on all citizens in Berlin and everywhere in Germany to wear the kippah on Saturday when people will agitate unbearably against Israel and against Jews on 'Al-Quds Day'", Klein said.

The commissioner also called on people in Germany to take part in pro-Israel rallies on the day instead.

Klein made headlines last week when he warned Jews not to wear kippahs in public spaces, noting a recent rise in anti-Semitic crimes in Germany. The skullcaps are traditionally worn by Jewish men as an outward sign of their faith.

"I am sorry to say that I cannot recommend that Jews wear the kippah everywhere in Germany," Felix Klein said, in remarks also carried by Funke media group newspapers.

According to official figures, the number of anti-Semitic crimes committed in Germany increased from 1,504 in 2017 to 1,646 in 2018 - a 10-per-cent rise. The number of cases considered violent increased from 37 to 62 over the same period.