Call for Germans to wear skullcaps in solidarity with Jews amid U-turn on safety warning

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A German government watchdog has called on people across the country to wear Jewish skullcaps this weekend in an act of solidarity against anti-Semitism.

The appeal follows a U-turn on an official warning to Jewish men not to wear skullcaps in public for their own safety.

Felix Klein, the German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, warned Jewish men at the weekend not to wear traditional kippah or yarmulke skullcaps amid a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks.

The warning was backed by Germany’s largest Jewish organisation, the Central Council of Jews, but was widely criticised. 

President Reuven Rivlin of Israel described it as a “capitulation to anti-Semitism”, while Angela Merkel’s spokesman said: “The state must see to it that the free exercise of religion is possible for all… and that anyone can move around safely in our country while wearing a kippah”.

Mr Klein later backed away from his initial warning, saying it was intended as “a way of raising the alarm”.



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