Jews in Germany warned against wearing traditional caps in public

An EU survey suggests a rise in hostility against Jewish people in Europe.
An EU survey suggests a rise in hostility against Jewish people in Europe. Photo credit: Reuters

The Jewish community is shocked after Germany's Government Commissioner on Antisemitism warned them against donning their kippah cap in public.

It comes after a rise in hostility against Jewish people in Europe.

A European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in Europe found "antisemitism pervades the public sphere, reproducing and engraining negative stereotypes about Jews".

Eighty-nine percent of Jews felt antisemitism had spiked while 85 percent thought it was a serious issue, the survey suggests.

Germany Government Commissioner on Antisemitism Felix Klein said he "could not advise" Jews to wear their kippah everywhere.

"The internet and social media have largely contributed to this, but so have constant attacks against our culture of remembrance," he said in an interview published by German news source Funke regional press group.

But Klein's remarks had shocked Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, The Times of Israel reports.

"Responsibility for the welfare, the freedom and the right to religious belief of every member of the German Jewish community is in the hands of the German Government and its law enforcement agencies," the president said in a statement.

"We acknowledge and appreciate the moral position of the German Government, and its commitment to the Jewish community that lives there, but fears about the security of German Jews are a capitulation to anti-Semitism and an admission that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil."

People online have labelled Klein's remarks as "a disgrace".

"[It's] the equivalent of responding to rising rates of rape by telling women to stay indoors and wear less revealing clothes," one Twitter user said. "It's the state's duty to protect its citizens, not urge them into the closet."

"If Jews can no longer identify as Jews without risking their lives, all freedom loving people should be equally terrified, enraged and determined to fight this evil," another wrote.