Via Jerusalem Post:
Muslim students of Arab and Turkish origin protested participation in an International Holocaust Remembrance Day event in Germany, while their high school’s administration showed understanding for their criticism of Israel.
“Some Muslims students said they would not participate in the event,” said Florian Beer, a teacher at the school in the city of Gelsenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia state, Der Westen newspaper reported on Thursday.
The Holocaust remembrance event was part of a global commemoration in which participants take selfie photographs along with a sign saying “I Remember“ or “We Remember.“ A blackboard at the school was defaced with the sentence: “F*** Israel, free Palestine.” The school was not able to identify the perpetrator.
The Weiterbildungskolleg Emscher-Lippe school, where the protest unfolded, has 500 students, 40% of whom have a migrant background.
School director Günter Jahn told Der Westen it was good that there was student opposition to the remembrance event. “It is important that there is criticism. That is the basis for a discussion.” He added that in certain communities, criticism of Israel is demanded.
The school is located in the northern part of the Ruhr region and Gelsenkirchen’s population in 2015 was roughly 260,000.
Some of the students allowed themselves to be photographed with the remembrance signs but declined to permit the photographs to be displayed on the Internet. A number of students, according to Der Westen, asked, “Why always the Jews?” The students added there are, after all, other problems in world.
Beer said the school likes to be provocative because there are always events at the school that leave an “aftertaste of antisemitism.” He added that representatives from the World Jewish Congress have been invited to come speak at the school.