Kippah France

A Kippah-wearing Israeli at a rally in solidarity with France. (Esther Rubyan/Flash90)

Il Foglio believes the West must stand against the surge of Islamism in Europe, and its first step in doing so is standing by Europe’s Jews, who are under threat.    

The Italian Il Foglio newspaper has declared International Holocaust Day marked on Wednesday as “Wear a Kippah Day” and is distributing kippahs (Jewish traditional head covering) to anyone who wishes to wear one in public.

The recent rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and attacks on Jews has led Jewish communal leaders, and specifically in France, to ask their community members to conceal their religious identity in public and not wear identifying articles, including kippahs. This call has led to an upheaval and a fierce debate on the Jews’ precarious status in Europe, only seven decades after the Holocaust.

Writing “let us all wear a kippah, why not?” Il Foglio explains that the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is part of the surge of global Islamic terrorism, which must be combated if Christian Europe and the West do not wish to be vanquished and subdued by Islamists.

Citing an increase of 84 percent in anti-Semitic attacks in 2015 in a Europe where “Islamic veils are proliferating, where women are ready to cover their faces to protest against Islamophobia, where Christian symbols are hidden in the name of political correctness, where the principals of some schools in Amsterdam were in favor of replacing in the school calendar one day of Christian holiday for a day of an Islamic festivity,” Il Foglio calls to make a stand and combat these phenomena.

“We believe the issue is quite clear then: can we accept to go from a tragic retreat to a dramatic surrender without lifting a finger? Without doing anything, without fighting, without protesting? Without sounding an alarm bell which should make us understand we cannot keep ignoring that the respect for certain religious identities (you know which ones) is making us cover under a veil, literally hide, other religious identities (you know which ones)? No, we cannot,” the Italian publication asserts.

“A Jew who hides in fear of being recognized as a Jew is the perfect symbol of a world that forces the West to hide for fear of provoking a reaction among those who want to stab the West. Very well. We are doing our small part, and this year we will turn January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, into our and your “Wear a Kippah Day”.”

“The Jews shall not hide. The West shall not hide. We stand publicly behind it,” the paper vows. The public wearing of the Kippah is an act “against the surrender of the West.”