German government U-turns to urge solidarity in wearing of Jewish kippa ahead of anti-Israel protests

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Klein also addressed his earlier statements, saying that he “could no longer recommend that Jews wear the kippa everywhere in Germany should be taken as an alarm signal.”

Earlier Monday, German daily Bild published a cut-out-and-use kippa in a bid to fight rising anti-Semitism.

Bild, Germany’s top-selling daily newspaper, called on readers to “stand in solidarity with (their) Jewish neighbours” by making “their own kippa”, bearing the star of David, to “raise the flag against anti-Semitism”.

Germany, like other Western countries, has watched with alarm as anti-Semitic and other racist hate speech and violence have increased in recent years while the political climate has coarsened and grown more polarised.

Anti-Semitic crimes rose by 20 percent in Germany last year, according to interior ministry data which blamed nine out of 10 cases on the extreme right.

The arrival in parliament of the far-right AfD party, whose leaders openly question Germany’s culture of atonement for World War II atrocities, has also contributed to the change in atmosphere.

Merkel has also deplored “another form of anti-Semitism” stemming from a major asylum-seeker influx, with many coming from Muslim countries like Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has already issued several warnings about wearing the kippa in public.



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