(JTA) — Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner called on Germans to wear kippahs in public to show solidarity with Jews.
“I call on all citizens in Berlin and everywhere in Germany to wear the kippah on Saturday, when people will agitate unbearably against Israel and against Jews on Al-Quds Day,” Felix Klein said in an interview with the Funke media group.
Al-Quds Day, which marks the day on which Israel captured eastern Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War, is marked by protests by the Arab community and its supporters.
Germany’s most-read tabloid, Bild, printed a cut-out kippah over the weekend for readers to wear in solidarity with their Jewish neighbors.
Klein caused an uproar in an interview published Friday in the Berliner Morgenpost in which he said that he could not recommend that Jews wear a kippah everywhere and any time in Germany.
In the later interview, Klein said his statement that he “could no longer recommend that Jews wear the kippah everywhere in Germany should be taken as an alarm signal.”
Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel in an interview Monday with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour said that Germany has to “face up to the specters of its past.” Because of that past, she said, “we have to be more vigilant than others.”
“There has always been a certain number of anti-Semites among us, unfortunately,” she said.
“Unfortunately there is to this day not a single synagogue, not a single day care center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen.”