Saturday, April 7, 2018

German-Jewish teen says fleeing Berlin for Israel over schoolyard antisemitism

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
15-year-old German-Jewish student Liam Rückert told the BZ daily on Friday that he plans to relocate to Israel to continue his education due to what he said was rampant Muslim-animated hatred of Jews in the Berlin public school system.

"I want to go to a boarding school like my brother in Israel. I already visited him and he is doing well there," Rückert said. His mother Billy is from Israel and taught her sons Hebrew.

In 2016, a student of Arab origin said during a discussion of the Middle East conflict in Rückert's class: "If there is a Jewish student in the class, I would kill him." According to the BZ article, students of Polish and Arab descent have targeted Liam with insults such as "shitty Israeli" and "shitty Jew." The Berlin school barred Liam from changing classes at the school named Jungfernheide. The school has the highest number of migrants in the city, with 62.1 % of the students having an immigrant background.

"I could previously trust my Arab friend Hussein," said Rückert, adding that the two boys "both had a secret: that I am a Jew and that he is gay." Rückert said he has anxiety to return to the school and declines to attend a required meeting every Friday because of the psychological pressure, the BZ wrote. Rückert is currently involved in an internship outside of the school.

Billy said the teachers sought to play down the antisemitic attacks. "We received no support from the school," said Billy on a German TV talk show.

The BZ wrote that antisemitic attacks in Berlin schools are a daily occurrence. Last week, the father of a German Jewish girl said his daughter was "accosted by Muslim students because she does not believe in Allah."

Josef Schuster, the president of the roughly-100,000 member Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in late March that "if Jewish students can no longer go to school without fear of antisemitic abuse, there's something wrong in this country." It is unclear if the rise of antisemitism in Germany, where 40% of the population hold modern antisemitic views - according to a government-commissioned study last year - will lead to a wave of aliyah.
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