Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Germany: Anti-Semitism still prominent in German schools, study finds

Via i24NEWS:
“You Jew” is still a common curse in Berlin's schools, according to a new study published Wednesday. 
The report by the German chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found a rise in anti-Semitic incidents among pupils, linked to an increase in Salafist tendencies. 
Researchers on behalf of the AJC interviewed 27 teachers from 21 schools in Berlin, between autumn 2015 and spring of 2016. Their depictions paint an alarming picture of a growing religiously-motivated hostility to Jews and to Israel, especially among students with Turkish or Arabic roots. 
The authors emphasized that the survey does not represent the situation in all schools in Berlin, but it shows an empirical trend. 
The majority of surveyed teachers reported witnessing incidents considered anti-Semitic on school grounds. Many of them reported that anti-Semitic slur words are still used on a regular basis by students against classmates, not necessarily of Jewish background.
According to the report, anti-Semitic stereotypes are also still strongly present in schools, like those associating Jews with wealth, control of the media and of the global financial system. 
Israel, as the state of the Jews, often serves as a general substitute for Judaism, the study found. 
“The first instinct always seems to be, that all things Jewish are bad because of Israel,” one teacher was quoted as saying. Some also stated that the word “Israel” is boycotted by students. In many atlases, the State of Israel is erased or blacked out, noted another teacher. 
A third of all respondents professed to knowing a student who shouted hate slogans in a demonstration against Israel. Several teachers reported hearing students express some degree of support towards terrorism targeting Israelis. “They are the reason that people attack, or that people dance when somewhere in Israel an attack happens,” a student said, according to his teacher. 
Germany's support of Israel is also often criticized. 
One teacher said: “many students say, when it comes to this issue: 'yes, yes, Germany always supports Israel, but this fuss will soon come to an end... Once we reach certain positions, we will put an end to it. Then it will be exactly the opposite. We will look in closely and will rather support Israel's opponents.'”
Any mention of Jews or Israel can cause “a small intifada in the classroom,” described one teacher, and therefore many prefer to avoid these issues and “let sleeping dogs lie.” 
Touching upon the Israel-Palestinian conflict, in particular, has become equivalent to opening Pandora's Box, said another educator, and any conveying information on that topic is “almost impossible.”
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