by WorldTribune Staff, January 29, 2017
Administrators at a German high school backed Muslim students who protested an International Holocaust Remembrance Day event, a report said.
The event was part of a global commemoration in which participants take selfies along with a sign saying “I Remember” or “We Remember.”
Along with Muslim students protesting the event, a blackboard at the high school in Gelsenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia state was defaced with the sentence: “F*** Israel, free Palestine,” according to a Jan. 26 report by Der Westen newspaper.
A number of students, according to Der Westen, asked, “why always the Jews?”
School director Gunter Jahn told Der Westen he supported 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 Weiterbildungskolleg Emscher-Lippe school, where the protest unfolded, has 500 students, 40 percent of whom have a migrant background.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the head of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on that “Muslims students are greatest in need of Holocaust education, so it would be unfortunate if they were excused from those activities.”
Zuroff, who is Wiesenthal’s chief Nazi-hunter, added: “Given that Holocaust consciousness is a central idea of civic identity in the Federal Republic, it is doubly important for families that come from countries with deep antisemitic traditions and no knowledge of the Holocaust and the destruction of European Jewry.”
The number of anti-semitic attacks reported in Germany doubled from 2015 to 2016, according to a report by the Diaspora Affairs Ministry earlier this month. The actual number of attacks is believed to be higher because of the lack of standards to identify contemporary anti-semitism in Germany.