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Berlin jews { April 23 2002 }

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Tuesday, April 23, 2002 Iyyar 11, 5762 Israel Time: 22:42 (GMT+3)

Last update - 13:08 23/04/2002

Berlin police: we did not advise Jews not to wear Jewish attire

By Ha'aretz Service

Berlin police officials denied a report on Army Radio Tuesday that it had issued recommendations to the city's Jewish community not to wear distinctive Jewish garments for fear they may be the targets of attacks by Muslim youths. According to the report, police specifically advised against the wearing of skullcaps and the Star of David.

Despite the denial, Army Radio's Igal Avidan insisted his report was accurate and that it was based on remarks made by the Berlin police spokesman, Lars Sunman, who was reported saying that the recommendation was "a blow to freedom of religion, but the police cannot protect every single Jew."

The warning comes in the wake of attacks on Jews and Jewish sites in Germany in recent weeks, and the rising wave of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe in recent months, against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The head of Chabad in Berlin, Rabbi Yehuda Teichler, said he was "shocked" by the police recommendation, but that he did not plan to heed it and to hide the fact that he was Jewish.

The director of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, Avner Shalev, described the recommendation as offensive, and said it indicated a lack of will on the part of the Berlin police to confront anti-Semitism.

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