- The Washington Times - Friday, December 15, 2017

A city in northwestern Germany has cancelled its official Hanukkah festivities, citing “security concerns.”

Volker Wiebels, a spokesperson for the city of Mülheim, told the German newspaper Bild Zeitung that a “secure indoor location could not be found at such short notice.”

The cancellation comes as Jewish leaders have urged members of their community not to wear kippah, the traditional Jewish skullcap, in public as reports of harassment skyrocket.

Alexander Drehmann, head of the Jewish communities in Mülheim, called the cancellation of the Festival of Lights “one of the lowest points in our post-war history.”

“Most of all we feel grief, because Hanukkah is a festival of joy,” Mr. Drehmann said. “We have cancelled all outdoor events. We are going to our community hall with secured entrance checkpoint, instead of being at the municipal theater. There were warnings, even from the non-Jewish sources, which I cannot name. It is a bad feeling.”

Mayor Ulrich Scholten, a Social Democrat, said it is “unbelievable that I have to witness a time — apart from the period between 1933 and 1945 — that a Jewish public gathering cannot take place due to security reasons.”

A study released by the American Jewish Community on Wednesday, reported by Legal Insurrection, found “Anti-Semitic attitudes, stereotypes, and conspiracy theories” are “widespread in the refugee communities from Syria and Iraq.”

“This study should send a wake-up call to government and civil society,” AJC Berlin Director Deidre Berger said in a statement. “Our political leaders must make certain that anti-Semitic attitudes will not be tolerated, and that infractions of the law will be prosecuted.”



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