What ever happened to the saying “Never Again”?
Especially in, of all places, Germany.
It appears as if even the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein has forgotten one of the greatest lessons of the Holocaust when he told a German tabloid last week that wearing a kippah might not be safe for Jews in parts of the country.
Israel President Reuven Rivlin was quick to condemn the remarks, rightly saying that it was the German government’s responsibility to protect all of its Jewish citizens, and that Klein’s recommendation was a dangerous capitulation to extremism and the Jews are once again not safe in Germany.
Rivlin could not be more correct in understanding the ramifications of Klein’s comments. Also, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell deserves our praise for writing on Twitter: “The opposite is true. Wear your kippa. Wear your friend’s kippa. Borrow a kippa and wear it for our Jewish neighbors. Educate people that we are a diverse society.”
Even Germany’s largest tabloid newspaper, Bild, printed a do-it-yourself paper kippah on its front page.
Running from extremism and failing to speak out and act against it is exactly what turned Germany into the 20th-century epicenter of unspeakable, murderous hatred unleashed on Europe’s Jewish community.
“We will never submit, will never lower our gaze and will never react to anti-Semitism with defeatism—and expect and demand our allies act in the same way,” said Rivlin, kicking back at the German anti-Semitism commissioner.
Spoken like someone who hasn’t forgotten.
Because it’s not about removing symbols of Jewish identity in an environment of fear and hiding. Instead, it’s all about a society protecting its people and enforcing standards of justice against those who would make any Jewish citizen feel unsafe.
Germany should be urging its Jews to wear their kippot proudly as free citizens.
Telling them to take them off means one thing: the extremists win.
That cannot happen.