3 kippahs attacked in just 24 hours. Jews, get out of Germany

What are the Jews in Germany waiting for? Why are they still there?

Giulio Meotti

OpEds קללה על רקע אנטישמי. אילוסטרציה
קללה על רקע אנטישמי. אילוסטרציה
צילום: עצמי

Last month Fritz Klein, delegate of the German government for the fight against anti-Semitism, shocked Germany with these words: “Jews should avoid wearing the kippah”.

The Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herman replied: “Everyone should be able to wear a kippah everywhere”.

The Federal Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, added: “The state must guarantee the exercise of religion everywhere”.

And Foreign Minister Heiko Maas: “No one should ever hide their Jewish convictions”.

Klein also got harsh criticism from Israel through its president, Reuven Rivlin, who spoke of “surrender” to anti-Semitism. A few days ago the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, told the Heidelberg College of Jewish Studies that the country had to do more to make its Jewish community feel safe.

Unfortunately, a German chronicle of just 24 hours seems to agree with the pessimist Klein.

German police arrested a Moroccan man accused of threatening, insulting and spitting at two Jews in the northern city of Hamburg. Shlomo Bistritzky, the chief rabbi of Hamburg, and the member of the local Jewish community Eliezer Noe, had just come out of a meeting with Mayor Peter Tschentscher in the town hall. Bistritzky told the Hamburg-based Abendblatt newspaper that the man told them “shalom”. “Then he said something that looked threatening. We approached him and asked him what he had said. He pulled something out from under his shirt ... and started to threaten us verbally”. Bistritzky explained to Abendblatt that “he would never have thought that such a thing could happen in Hamburg. It is a bad sign that the attacker was released after two hours”.

A few hours passed and an American tourist was beaten in a park in the Steglitz district of Berlin. A man asked the fellow what his religion was. When he replied that he was Jewish he was punched in the face.

A year ago, 951 cases of anti-Semitic incidents had been reported in the German capital. The episode in the Steglitz park comes a few days after another boy was attacked in the Prenzlauer Berg district in Berlin for wearing a kippah.

Two days ago, Rabbi Chaim Barkahn was the victim of a similar anti-Semitic attack in Dusseldorf, where he wore a kippah. Barkahn told Bild: “So far I have always been proud of my city, Dusseldorf. It's quiet here, it's all right. But on Sunday evening, a man on Collenbachstrasse called me 'Jewish s...t', he said something about Israel and Palestine. This is the first time this has happened to me”. The man began to chase after the rabbi, who found shelter in the center of the Jewish community.

Speaking with Die Welt, Barkahn explained: “I have close ties to the Düsseldorf police department and I really appreciate what they do. But I can also say out loud: it's not enough. We need more protection. The Jews who go to the synagogue are afraid”.

Meanwhile, there is the controversy over the resignation of the director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Peter Schafer, who invited Iranian officials to speak and supported the boycott of Israel. Gerald Steinberg , director in Israel of NGO Monitor, renamed the institution created by the famous architect Daniel Libeskind “the anti-Jewish museum”.

Again, Jews in Germany find themselves in danger. Why are they waiting to get out that country?