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February 12, 2016 4:42 am

Denmark’s Policies Have Led Directly to Antisemitism

avatar by Judith Bergman

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The Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen, Denmark, which was attacked in 2015 in a deadly shooting. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen, Denmark, which was attacked in 2015 in a deadly shooting. Photo: Wikipedia.

In Denmark, it has been decided that an information center is needed to educate and inform the general population about the ‎Jewish minority living there. The purpose of this center, which will be run by the Danish Jewish community and funded by the Copenhagen municipality, is to combat antisemitism. This is rather ironic, ‎considering that Jews have lived in Denmark for over 350 years and that Denmark became world famous ‎for saving most of the Danish Jews during World War II. It seems a little late in the day for education and ‎information. Then again, the majority of the “new” antisemitism against Jews in Denmark — although far ‎from all of it — comes from a new demographic, Muslims, who have only lived in Denmark for the past ‎four decades.

Several days ago, ‎ Copenhagen Mayor of Employment and Integration Anna Mee Allerslev told Danish television that “Danish Jews, Jews in Copenhagen, have experienced discrimination. This is of course not the general ‎impression in Copenhagen, but we have too many instances of antisemitism or Jew-hatred and we want ‎to help break down prejudices and spread information and in that way eliminate discrimination and hate ‎crimes.”

The center will be educating teachers who, in turn, will visit schools, educational institutions ‎and youth clubs in order to spread information about the Jewish minority in Denmark.‎

Allerslev happens to be the same person who in 2012 told Danish Jews ‎participating in a festival celebrating the multiculturalism of ethnic and cultural minorities in Copenhagen ‎that they would not be allowed to display the Israeli flag at the festival. No such message was given to any ‎other minority participating in the festival. “The Israeli flag can seem provocative to some and for security ‎reasons we do not wish the Israeli flag to be displayed,” Allerslev said. Only four years later, the mayor has ‎seemingly realized that discriminating against Jews is a bad thing.‎

It is hard to imagine that the educational efforts of the center will be able to make a dent in the hard-‎core antisemitism and anti-Israeli diatribes that are taught and preached in certain mosques and Muslim ‎private schools in Denmark. The terrorist who murdered a young Jewish security guard last year at a ‎Copenhagen synagogue had been exposed to such incitement at a local mosque the day ‎before he committed the murder. How is a handful of teachers educating about Jews going to ‎change such powerful brainwashing?‎

In the Netherlands, authorities are facing similar challenges. A recent government-sponsored report found that ‎antisemitism is rampant in many Dutch schools, especially among Muslim students. The 55-page report, ‎‎”Two Worlds, Two Realities — How Do You Deal with It as a Teacher,” was published last week by journalist ‎Margalith Kleijwegt at the Dutch Education Ministry’s request.‎

In the report, one Amsterdam high school teacher told Kleijwegt about an incident in which a female ‎student of Moroccan descent stood up and pronounced: “If I had a Kalashnikov [assault rifle], I’d gun ‎down all the Jews.” ‎

‎”I wasn’t getting there,” the teacher is quoted in the report as saying. “I asked her to imagine a 5-year-old ‎Jewish girl who lives here. What would she have to do with Israel’s policies? Unfortunately, there was no ‎place for empathy. The pupil didn’t care about that girl. She had only one message: The Jews should die.” ‎

The report goes on to state that “antisemitic behavior is a recurrent problem in some schools. Some see ‎it as a provocation [by pupils], others fear it goes deeper: that pupils absorb anti-Jewish attitudes at ‎home.” ‎

‎”Fear that it goes deeper”? The very fact that teachers do not understand where this antsSemitism is ‎coming from speaks volumes about the insurmountable challenges ahead of Dutch society, ‎as these pupils grow up to be adults. Most Dutch Jews will probably have left by then, but any society in ‎which students find it completely normal to stand up in class and talk about killing Jews with assault rifles ‎is in for a nasty future “surprise” — although given Europe’s recent experiences with terrorism, the ‎surprise element is not assured.

In his response, Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker wrote that the report “shows a reality that is ‎inconvenient and sometimes painful” but one that must be challenged and dealt with “in accordance with ‎democratic values.”‎

However, Dutch society really only has itself to thank for such developments in its schools. As Manfred ‎Gerstenfeld previously reported, a number of schoolbooks published in the Netherlands in 2015 ‎contained distortions of Israel’s history, creating a bias against Israel among pupils. When a motion to ‎counter antisemitism within the educational system was brought in Parliament, the Dutch Labor party, ‎the junior partner in the government, opposed it. ‎

You cannot sow antisemitism with your policies and then feign surprise when you end up ‎reaping antisemitism. Everything is connected. Both Denmark and the Netherlands are ‎dominated by anti-Israeli media and a public discourse that treats Israel as the culprit of all the ills of the Middle ‎East. Both countries support the labeling of Israeli goods produced over the Green Line, both countries have major educational ‎institutions that routinely feature conferences where Israel is decried as an “apartheid state” and the ‎general atmosphere is one of hostility toward Israel. ‎

An educational center and the weak promises of politicians to challenge painful realities serve ‎as nothing but excuses, buying time for governments that have no clue how to deal with the antisemitism ‎that they have reared in their own backyards.‎

Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel.This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • Lauren Goldman

    By keeping hatred of Jews vocal and visible, the muslims deflect their true aim; the conversion, subjugation or death of all non-muslims. These countries happily delude themselves that they are not next on the menu, after us Jews. If Europe does not wake up soon, there will be a continent-wide bloodbath.

  • I. Khachewatskiy

    All i can say, shame to all European countries to be on the wrong side, protecting all terrorists, they will pay the price for it, as it was already happening on there soil, they can expect more severe incidents in the near future.

  • Myron Slater

    I believe that the only response to the antisemitism in Denmark and the actions of their boycott of Israeli goods, is to boycott Danish goods. I certainly will not visit that country! I’ll spend my money elsewhere!

  • Jonas

    Jew- Zionist- and Israel-hatred, so called antisemitism, bubbles up out the darkest and deepest source of two religions, Christianity and Islam.
    The religion venom,[blaming Jews Zionist Israelis for anything wrong] given with the breast-milk makes society as it is. If the need to fight antisemitism finally is recognized and activated, it demands zero tolerance in any corner of society even in politics, and intensified legislation on the matter. Media should be sabred down if double standards,bigitry or fact twisting propagated.
    The arrogance, political profit and bending juridical edges of social democrat parties accelerated degradation of society so “antisemitism” increases.

  • stevenl

    Most antisemites don’t recognize themselves in their own mirrors!!!
    That is the problem of many countries of Europe.

  • Fred

    Although Denmark has shown commendable goodwill towards it Jewish population in the past. In present day situation they have lost the plot with the arrivals of Muslim “migrant”. The Mosques are relentless in the preaching of hatred not only of Jews but non Jews as well. The authorities have no control of the hate preaching, so should not be surprised at the anti Semitic happenings. This is a dual rule of a country.

  • Paul

    Sow the wind and you shall reap the whirlwind.
    The Europeans are empowering a monster in their midst, not really understanding that when the time comes it will turn on THEM. They think the vicious hatred of muslim extremists is only reserved for the Jews, which fits their own views. But the Muslims themselves explain that they are at war with the Crusaders – who are those who fight Islam. By their own admission, the aim of the extreme muslims is to take over the world. Unless they wake up in time and succeed in fighting back, Europeans will one day be faced with the choice of adopting Islam or being killed. You don’t have to be a Jew – it is enough to not be a muslim. And the people MOST in danger are not the non-moslems but the muslims who do not support the extremists.