President Reuven Rivlin. (Hadas Parush/Flash90) Hadas Parush/Flash90
President Reuven Rivlin

Israeli president issues defiant statement after German anti-Semitism commissioner tells Jews not to wear kippot in public: “We will never submit!”

By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin issued a defiant statement on Saturday after Germany’s top official on fighting anti-Semitism suggested that Jewish men should limit the wearing of skullcaps in public.

“We will never submit, will never lower our gaze, and will never react to anti-Semitism with defeatism,” Rivlin said.

His statement came after the German government’s Commissioner on Anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, said on Saturday, “I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippa everywhere all the time in Germany.”

Klein blamed this situation on “the lifting of inhibitions and the uncouthness which is on the rise in society,” and said, “The internet and social media have largely contributed to this — but so have constant attacks against our culture of remembrance.”

“The statement of the German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, that it would be preferable for Jews not wear a kippa in Germany out of fear for their safety, shocked me deeply,” Rivlin responded in a statement.

“Responsibility for the welfare, the freedom, and the right to religious belief of every member of the German Jewish community is in the hands of the government of Germany and its law enforcement agencies,” he said.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the moral position of the government of Germany and its commitment to the Jewish community that lives there,” Rivlin added, “but fears about the security of German Jews are a capitulation to anti-Semitism and an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil.”

“We will never submit, will never lower our gaze, and will never react to anti-Semitism with defeatism — and we expect and demand our allies act in the same way,” the president concluded.