A 14-year-old pupil in Germany was forced to leave the Friedenau Gemeinschaftsschule, a high school in Berlin, after being pushed, kicked and choked. Just because he’s a Jew. On behalf of the Jewish Rundschau, a jewish newspaper in Germany, I put a few questions to the school administration. Until now, there’s no reaction. When it comes to violence against Jews, silence is an ugly German tradition.
I can only explain the silence as a reflection of incompetence and inability on the part of the school administration in regard to such dangerous situations despite the obvious reasons behind Jew-hatred at their school. Today, Jew-hatred can’t be simply dealt with by including the Holocaust in the instructional curriculum. The Jew-hatred doesn’t come from the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of German National Socialists, but rather from children with another history and background. At home they often view Hitler as „an honorary man“.
At the Friedenau high school, three quarters of the pupils are of a non-German background whereby more than half of those have a Turkish or Arab background. At the school there are a total of five integration classes for refugee children. Like all children, those with Arabic and Turkish roots have access to the Internet, where they can also follow Arab media. In many German living rooms, an Arab TV show presents a funny Hamas bunny rabbit named Assud, which instructs children to wage war on Jews and unbelievers. The bunny’s hobby is killing Jews. The Hamas mouse, on the other hand, incites children to hate Jews and has them sing songs about heroic acts involving the murder of Jews.
In a successful arab TV show jews kidnap and murder a child in order to use their blood as part of their religious rituals during Jewish holidays.
From the school administration I wanted to know whether teachers and pupils discuss the anti-Semitic programs shown on television. In 2005, a project group from the Alice-Salomon College investigated what goes on in the minds of young people who watch such TV shows. Young migrants in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district of Berlin are quoted in the report to have said the following about Jews:
„They even kill newborns.“
„Too bad they’re not all gone.“
To them, Hitler and the Holocaust are not shameful, but an honor:
„I like Hitler. Well, he did the right thing back then.“
Today these and much worse statements against Jews are in abundance on Facebook and in other social media. This hatred is increasingly spreading. On German streets the chant „Gas the jews“ is heart again.
All this hate is spread not only by Arabic television stations and through the Internet, but also in mosques, even in Germany. In 2016, the journalist Constantin Schreiber sent a man undercover to almost twenty mosques in Germany to listen to the Friday sermons. What he heard was not reassuring, but rather quite frightening. The faithful were instructed to keep away from German cultural life. Constantin Schreiber says:
„The call to avoid German society is a common denominator in all the sermons.“
After the Jewish boy changed schools, the school principle explained:
„When the boy applied to the school, I told the mother that we hadn’t any experience with Jews who, like the 14-year-old, are open with their religion.“
„Open with their religion“ means in this case, that the boy revealed himself as a Jew in an ethics class. This was reason enough for some pupils to take action against the boy. Today, there is no „open jew“ in the school anymore.
Schools need an immediate action program to effectively and sustainably deal with anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim community. A mosque in which anti-Semitism is preached is like a beer hall where neo-Nazis gather. Such mosques must be treated as such. An imam, who preaches against Jews, is like a Nazi who agitates against Jews. The Nazi maintains he’s a good German just as the Imam considers himself a good Muslim.
Germans carry responsibility when Nazis agitate against Jews. Likewise, Muslims have a responsibility when Islamists agitate against Jews. If Islam really does belong to Germany, then Muslims are – as Germans and Muslims – now doubly obliged to stand up against Jew-hatred!
Most importantly: Break the silence, no matter what you believe in! It’s happening again.