Every Jewish institution in Germany requires police protection, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an exclusive interview with CNN on Tuesday. Speaking to Christian Amanpour about rising levels of anti-Jewish hate, Merkel warned of “dark forces” gaining ground in Germany and across Europe.
“There is to this day not a single Synagogue, not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen,” the chancellor said. “Unfortunately, over the years, we have not been able to deal with this satisfactorily.”
Merkel’s comments come just days after the official overseeing the fight against anti-Semitism in Germany caused outrage for urging Jewish people not to wear the kippa in public.
Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein warned it may no longer be safe to wear the kippa in public. “I can no longer recommend Jews wear a kippa at every time and place in Germany,” the official said.
In response, the German government called on all citizens to demonstrate solidarity with the Jewish community by wearing a kippa on Al-Quds Day, an annual anti-Israel protest in Berlin instigated by Iran, which occurs on June 1.
Germany’s best-selling newspaper, Bild, printed a front page with a “cut out and keep” kippa for readers to show their support for Jews. Underneath was the headline “The Kippa belongs to Germany.”
According to data from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, anti-Semitic incidents in Germany increased by almost 20% over 2018, with violent anti-Semitic crimes rising by about 86%, to 69 last year.
Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the country’s domestic security agency, recently warned that the influx of over a million immigrants from Muslim countries increased the problem of anti-Semitism in the country. The report defined Islamism as political extremism of which anti-Semitism is a central ideological principle.
The report specifically identified several Islamist groups present in Germany, including the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the Iranian-sponsored terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.
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