A German Jewish leader has advised Jews not to wear the traditional skullcap, or kippah, in areas with a large Muslim population, amid increasing anti-Semitism in Europe. Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews, said Thursday, during an interview, that though Jews in Germany usually feel safe, security measures in the country need to be more frequently evaluated.
The advisory from the leader comes as crimes against Jews in the country increased to 1,076 in 2014 from 788 cases in 2013, Die Welt reported, citing the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. The foundation gets its figures from the federal government. Schuster reportedly added that he had not expected the need for such an advisory five years ago.
Shuster said, according to the Associated Press, which cited an interview to a local radio station, that, "hiding is not the right way" to tackle anti-Semitism, but it was important to analyze if "it really makes sense to identify oneself as a Jew by wearing a kippa, for example," in areas with a large Muslim population, "or whether it's better to wear different headgear there."
The comment from Schuster follows last month's attacks against Jews in France, and at a synagogue in Copenhagen earlier this month, where a Jewish man was killed. Following the Copenhagen attacks, where a Jewish documentary filmmaker was also killed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had urged European Jews to move back to Israel.
“This wave of terror attacks can be expected to continue, including anti-Semitic and murderous attacks. We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms,” Netanyahu said, following the attacks.
Benjamin, 24, a German Jew, told the BBC for the publication's feature on anti-Semitism in Europe: “I am a full part of German society. Most of my friends aren't Jewish, but still it is impossible to wear a kippah outside. I do think twice before I tell somebody that I am Jewish - I know that sometimes you have to keep it to yourself.”