Thursday, April 26, 2018

German Kippah Rallies

Dry Bones cartoon, Israel, Germany, antisemitism, kippah, Jews, Islamism, attacks, terror, demonstration,
According to the Times of Israel: German Jews, non-Jews hold kippah-wearing protest against wave of anti-Semitism2,000 march in German cities a day after Jewish leader warns against wearing religious symbols for fear of attack; one small protest cancelled after participants assaulted/BERLIN, Germany — non-Jewish Germans joined with Jews wearing kippahs at several protests across Germany on Wednesday in a sign of solidarity after a spate of shocking anti-Semitic incidents, raising pointed questions about Berlin’s ability to protect its burgeoning Jewish community seven decades after the Holocaust.
One day after the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, warned against wearing religious symbols on city streets for fear of attack, some 150 protesters came to a rally in the eastern German city of Erfurt and hundreds more were expected later in the day in Berlin, Cologne and Potsdam.
“We must never allow anti-Semitism to become commonplace in Germany again,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the daily Tagesspiegel ahead of a “Berlin Wears Kippa” event where Jews and non-Jews will wear the traditional skullcap in a shared show of defiance.
More than 2,000 people — Jews, Christians, Muslims and atheists — put on kippas in a show of solidarity in Berlin.
The yarmulkes were of all varieties — silky and knitted, leathery, embroidered and patterned. Holding them so the wind wouldn’t blow them away, both men and women cheered when Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller told them, “Today, we all wear kippa. Today, Berlin is wearing kippa.”
Jewish community leaders said it was the biggest such display in public since before World War II.
Elard Zuehlke, a 26-year-old non-Jewish Berliner, said he came to the rally in front of the city’s synagogue on Fasanenstrasse because “it cannot be that in Germany there is any kind of anti-Semitism — not in schools, not in public, not at work, not in politics, nowhere.”
“This cannot be happening. Germany has to live up to its special responsibility,” he said.
Reinhard Borgmann, a 65-year-old Jew who lost several great-uncles in the Holocaust and whose mother only survived because she hid from the Nazis, said he was pleased that dozens of organizations had turned out to support the demonstration.
“As Jews, we want to be able to move freely, whether with kippa or without,” Borgmann said. “We want to be able to practice religion in peace and not be discriminated against and not live in fear. And this event tonight is a sign and an important one.”
One small Berlin rally was called off by its three members when angry counter-protesters shouted “terrorists”, spat at participants and snatched away an Israeli flag, organizers said.
Police said the tiny demonstration in Neukoelln district, the heart of the capital’s Muslim community, ended early after the trio were shouted down by “loud and emotional” opponents and feared for their safety.
The rally was cancelled after just 15 minutes, said Levi Salomon of the Jewish Forum for Democracy and Anti-Semitism in an emailed statement that included video footage of a young man snatching an Israeli flag and running off, and of another spitting at a demonstrator.
Germany, which has been rocked by a series of ugly anti-Semitic incidents, on Wednesday saw a series of rallies with hundreds of marchers in various cities to show solidarity with Jews.
The rallies come a week after a 19-year-old Syrian refugee attacked two young men wearing kippahs in a trendy district of the capital, shouting “yahudi” — Jew in Arabic — and lashing out at his victim with a belt.

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