Top German paper to print cutout kippah in solidarity with Jews
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Top German paper to print cutout kippah in solidarity with Jews

As anti-Semitism czar advises Jews not to wear skullcaps in certain areas, tabloid editor launches protest

The May 27, 2019 front page of German daily Bild, featuring a cut-out kippah and urging readers to wear the Jewish skullcap in protest of anti-Semitic attacks. (Twitter)
The May 27, 2019 front page of German daily Bild, featuring a cut-out kippah and urging readers to wear the Jewish skullcap in protest of anti-Semitic attacks. (Twitter)

The editor of Bild, Germany’s largest newspaper, on Sunday said he will print a Jewish skullcap on the front page of the Monday paper so that Germans can cut it out and wear it in solidarity with the local Jewish community.

The protest comes days after the government official in charge of fighting anti-Semitism said he wouldn’t advise Jews to wear the traditional Jewish head-covering in parts of the country.

“If even one person in our country can’t wear a kippah without putting themselves in danger, the only answer is that we all wear a kippah,” Bild’s editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt tweeted. “The kippah belongs to Germany! That’s why tomorrow the kippah will be printed for cutting out on page one.”

Reichelt tweeted a photo of the mockup of the Monday morning edition cover page, which features an editorial and the stylized Star of David skullcap, called a kippah in Hebrew.

On Saturday, German anti-Semitism czar Felix Klein said his “opinion has unfortunately changed compared with what it used to be” on the matter. He said: “I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany.” He did not elaborate on what places and times might pose a danger.

“Actually, we have to be infinitely grateful that in Germany Jewish life flourishes again,” Reichelt’s Monday editorial opened, saying “we must resolutely defend what may be considered a historical miracle and gift to our country.”

He called Klein’s position “shocking.”

Felix Klein, the German government’s first-ever special envoy to the Jewish community, at the ‘Berlin wears a kippah’ protest, April 25, 2018 (courtesy BMI)

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said Sunday the German anti-Semitism official’s comments “shocked me deeply.”

“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,” Rivlin said in a statement.

German security officials said earlier this month that the number of anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner incidents rose in the country last year, despite an overall fall in politically motivated crimes.

Anti-Semitic incidents rose by 19.6 percent to 1,799 in 2018, with 89.1% of them involving far-right perpetrators.

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