In response to anti-Semitic bullying, Australian official calls for greater Holocaust ‘focus’

“If they (bullies) understood and comprehend the atrocities of the Holocaust, they would be as insulted as anybody about these recent attacks,” said Frydenberg,

By World Israel News Staff 

“Anti-Semitic bullying at two Melbourne schools has prompted calls for a review of the curriculum to include a greater focus on the Holocaust,” reports SBS News.

“If they (bullies) understood and comprehend the atrocities of the Holocaust, they would be as insulted as anybody, including me, about these recent attacks,” Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is Jewish, told reporters in Queensland on Friday, according to SBS.

On Thursday, two incidents were reported from earlier this year that took place in Melbourne.

A 12-year-old Jewish student was forced to kneel and kiss the shoes of a Muslim classmate, and a five-year-old boy was allegedly called a “Jewish cockroach” and repeatedly hounded in the school toilets by his young classmates because of his circumcision, said The Age, a newspaper published in the Australian city.

“Since hearing about the incidents, the treasurer has spoken to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan about the need to increase knowledge about the Holocaust,” reports SBS, an Australian media outlet.

Referring to the Holocaust, Frydenberg said that the millions murdered included “over one and a half million innocent children,” and therefore Australian schoolchildren “should know that story, it should be in our curriculums, it should be taught so we cannot repeat any of these mistakes of the past.”

“Victorian Education Minister James Merlino has ordered an ‘immediate review’ of the handling of the alleged incidents and said he will meet with the parents who say the schools failed to address their concerns,” SBS said. 

“Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich has been in contact with the parents of the victims over the last three months and said it was the tip of the iceberg,” the media outlet added.

“The kids are shaken and traumatized,” Abramovich said. “Too often, parents are concerned that the anti-Semitic abuse will escalate if they notify the school since their child will become even a bigger target.

He complained that “some schools failed to acknowledge the incidents were driven by anti-Semitism and do not impose an appropriate punishment,” according to SBS.