Chancellor Merkel Stresses Germany’s Need to Protect Jews Wearing Skullcaps Nationwide

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Foreign minister Heiko Maas (L) adjusts his Jewish kippa skullcap next to the President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder prior the solemn ordination ceremony of three rabbis and three cantors at the Bet Zion synagogue in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 8, 2018. (Credit: Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) /Getty Images)

Foreign minister Heiko Maas (L) adjusts his Jewish kippa skullcap next to the President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder prior the solemn ordination ceremony of three rabbis and three cantors at the Bet Zion synagogue in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 8, 2018. (Credit: Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) /Getty Images)

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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman has stressed Germany’s responsibility to ensure security for all Jews wearing skullcaps anywhere in the country without having to fear an anti-Semitic attack.

Steffen Seibert’s comments came after the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, was quoted Saturday as saying he “cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany.” That was criticized strongly by Israel’s president, among others.

Seibert said Monday “it’s the job of the state to ensure that anybody can move around securely with a skullcap in any place of our country.”

Government statistics released earlier this month showed that the number of anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner incidents rose in Germany last year, despite an overall drop in politically motivated crimes.

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