A government-commissioned report has found anti-Semitism to be rife in many Dutch schools, particularly amongst Muslim students.
The 55-page report on discrimination in education — ‘Two Worlds, Two Realities – How Do You Deal With It As a Teacher’ — was collated by Dutch journalist Margalith Kleijwegt having been commissioned by The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in the Netherlands.
Based on research conducted by Ms. Kleijwegt as she interviewed teachers during school visits across the country since January 2015, the report concluded that many teachers feel helpless and ill-equipped when looking to change the deep-seated prejudices and violent outlooks of their students, particularly against Jews but also against Muslim students in the light of the ongoing migrant crisis.
According to Education Minister Jet Bussemaker the report represents “a reality that is inconvenient and sometimes painful”, but one which must be dealt according to “democratic values”.
The European Jewish Press reports an example given by a teacher who had wanted to discuss al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on America. One of her male students of Moroccan origin said that the events were in fact “a Zionist Jewish plot” and that there were no Muslims in the airplanes used that day.
Even more chillingly, given last year’s attacks on a Synagogue in Copenhagen and a Jewish supermarket in Paris, a high-school teacher from Amsterdam told Ms. Kleijwegt of incident during a conversation on discrimination when a female student, again of Moroccan descent, pronounced: “If I had a Kalashnikov, I’d gun down all the Jews.”
The teacher said: “I wasn’t getting there. 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.”
In the report Ms. Kleijwegt described anti-Semitism in Dutch schools as a “recurrent problem”. She did point out some see it as mere “provocation by pupils” but noted that others fear it represents a deeper problem, recognising “that pupils receive anti-Jewish attitudes at home.”