The Jewish community in Germany, concerned about a possible increase in anti-Semitic abuse, asked schools to monitor religious intimidation among students, especially during recess.
The petition came after people in Germany were surprised by reports that a Jewish girl at a primary school in Berlin was bullied by her Muslim peers and even received death threats after she said she did not believe in Allah, an incident that was reported by her father in the Berliner Zeitung. This heightened fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Germany.
Josef Schuster, an authority of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, supported a proposal by a police union to have national statistics on religious harassment so that teachers and students could report “anti-Semitic or other acts of violence without bureaucratic obstacles, in order to have a clearer idea of what is happening. He added: “If Jewish students can no longer go to school without fear of anti-Semitic abuse, there is something wrong in this country.
The teachers in Berlin have long complained that the word Jew’ became a common insult. In addition, some critics of German immigration policy say anti-Jewish sentiment was exacerbated by the influx of migrants in 2015, when more than a million asylum seekers, mainly Muslims, flooded Germany.
Marina Chernivsky, head of an anti-Semitism monitoring group in Berlin, interviewed by DPA about threats to a Jewish girl in a primary school, said it was “not an isolated case” and that the problem of Muslim newcomers could not be blamed, but that it must be recognized “that many of these people experience religious and political socialization in their countries of origin in which anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli attitudes are influential.
“We don’t often hear about such anti-Semitic incidents,” said Astrid-Sabine Busse, the head of the Berlin school administrators’ association, and she doubted that religious intimidation would prevail among students.