A man wearing a kippa waits for the start of an anti-Semitism demo at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate September 14, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BERLIN – A German university faces scathing criticism for teaching students that the Jewish state harvests Palestinian organs and commits genocidal atrocities.
“This is an ugly and outrageous demonstration of Jew-hatred. This is not a university, it is a hatred factory. One would think that in Germany of all places people would understand the pernicious nature of hatred and racism under a pseudo academic guise,” Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, wrote The Jerusalem Post by email on Thursday.
The HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, has taught a course assaulting Israel’s existence for at least 10 years.
Dr. Rebecca Seidler, the academic who blew the whistle on the anti-Israel seminar, told the Post
she was slated to teach a course on Jewish life in Germany, but was presented with course material for a seminar titled, “On the Social Situation of Young People in Palestine.” After Seidler reviewed the seminar articles and material, she decided she could not teach a seminar with “such anti-Semitic and anti-Israel” content.
The Post examined scores of articles that were part of the course curriculum for the period 2015-2016. A seminar article from 2009 titled, “Our sons are plundered of their organs,” by the Swedish journalist Donald Boström, claims Israel harvests Palestinian organs. The article was translated into German for the seminar.
At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared the organ-harvesting report to “medieval libels that Jews killed Christian children for their blood.” In an interview with Israel Radio, Boström later casted doubt on his sourcing, adding that he could not verify the stories of his Palestinian informants.
Articles for the seminar range from “Apartheid in the Holy Land” to “70 Victims of Torture in Israeli Prisons since 1967” to “Third Class Citizens: The Targeted Discrimination of Arab Israelis.” The source for the article on “Third Class Citizens” is the far-left weekly Junge Welt – a socialist paper accused of stoking modern anti-Semitism in Germany.
In a statement to the Post on Thursday, HAWK doubled-down on its decision to continue teaching the material on Israel supposedly harvesting Palestinian organs and the allegation Israel is an apartheid state.
“The ethics committee has no reservations about continuing the seminar ‘On the Social Situation of Young People in Palestine.’ There is no evidence that the academic course promotes anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic sentiments. The committee appreciates that the faculty conveys an accurate image of the situation in Israel...,” HAWK’s press department said.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post
on Thursday: “Genocidal Jew-hatred and racist ideology were incubated, validated and promoted by German universities from the earliest days of the Third Reich.”
Cooper continued, “In 2016, this despicable, extreme anti-Semitism and anti-Israel canard masquerading as a ‘course’ should be denounced by leaders of German academic and medical circles.
“Further, no German taxpayer funds should be used to promote the blood libel.”