German Jewish Leader: Alleged Bullying of Jewish Student by Muslim Classmates at Berlin High School Marked ‘Antisemitism of the Ugliest Form’
Alleged bullying of a Jewish student at a Berlin public high school by Muslim classmates — which prompted the student to switch schools — marked “antisemitism of the ugliest form,” a German Jewish leader said this week, according to the English language news site The Local.
“If the report is true, it is deeply shocking,” Josef Schuster — the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany — was quoted as telling Der Tagesspiegel.
Schuster was referring to a recent article published by The Jewish Chronicle which detailed verbal and physical harassment faced by 14-year-old “Phillip” (not his real name) at Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule in the Schoneberg neighborhood of the German capital. The school, the report said, has a large contingent of children with Arab or Turkish backgrounds.
Phillip’s mother recounted for the Jewish Chronicle that one of her son’s classmates, upon learning of his religion, told him, “Listen, you are a cool dude but I can’t be friends with you, Jews are all murderers.”
The situation escalated, his mother went on to say, until last month Phillip “was attacked and almost strangled, and the guy pulled a toy gun on him that looked like a real gun. And the whole crowd of kids laughed. He was completely shaken.”
Following that incident, Phillip transferred to an international school in Berlin. The principal of Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule, according to Phillip’s mother, “made all the right noises,” but no action was taken against the offending students.
Schuster has called for an investigation into what took place at Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule. And Germany’s Muslim communities, he noted, “must also actively fight antisemitism among their ranks. It can’t be accepted that hatred of Jews and Israel can be promoted in German mosques.”
Levi Salomon — a spokesperson for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Antisemitism — was quoted as telling Der Tagesspiegel, “Such incidents are occurring more and more frequently, and not only in Berlin. It is urgently necessary for the federal government to appoint an antisemitism commissioner. Jewish organizations and the community have been demanding this for a long time.”