A television interview of young Turkish Muslim immigrants eagerly discussing their hatred of Jews was aired in February on a television station in Holland. Dutch audiences did not initially react, but after the Finnish media site Tundra Tabloids put English subtitles on a video of it this week, people elsewhere have begun to take notice.
The video is one of an interview by a PhD student, Mehmet Sahin, with a group of Muslim Turkish immigrant high school boys.
Sahin’s goal is to determine how “indoctrinated” with hatred towards Jews (and others) Turkish immigrant youth are, and whether the indoctrination can be reversed. Sahin is a student at VU university in Amsterdam.
The clip opens after the session has already begun. The topic is Anne Frank, and one boy says she was murdered in WWII. Another one of the boys yells out: “No! She died from Typhus after the war ended.”
Then a lanky red-haired boy smilingly shares the first of his many statements appreciative of Hitler’s goals, methods and success:
“I am satisfied with what Hitler did with the Jews.”
The interview is just over six minutes long, but a lot of hate is packed into those six minutes.
When pressed to give a reason for their hatred, the boys state as fact that Jews “killed millions of Palestinians in Gaza,” and that Jews “steal other people’s country.”
From a psychological perspective, it is fascinating to watch as one adult in the room tries to explain to the boys that Hitler wanted to kill the Jews because they “looked different,” and that “there were not many Muslims in Europe then, but otherwise…,” obviously shepherding them towards identifying with the victims, rather than the villain.
No, the boys insist that “Hitler must have had a reason.”
Later on, the boys resist Sahin’s disbelief that they could be happy Hitler killed so many innocent victims. Their challenge: “you don’t know if they were innocent.” Sahin again tries to help them identify with the victims, explaining that “Hitler was very clear, that they [the Jews] didn’t match with the Aryan race. That was their ‘fault.’” Again, the response: “Hitler must have had a reason to hate the Jews.”
Kenneth Sikorski, editor of Tundra Tabloids, wrote that after the interview aired on Dutch television, there was no response until a well known Dutch journalist, Alma Drayer, wrote in a column that she found it scandalous there had been no outrage.
According to Sikorski, Drayer wrote in the Dutch publication Trouw
if Dutch youngsters had said on television that it would have been a good thing had all Muslims been slaughtered, including little babies, there would have been massive reactions about how horrible this was.
Dutch pro-Muslim organizations would probably have organized a demonstration in which prominent leftists would also have marched.
She concluded that Jew hatred in the Netherlands is back where it had been before the Holocaust.
Ege Berk Korkut, a Turkish observer of the change in attitude by Turks towards Israel and the Jews, spoke with The Jewish Press about the escalating levels of anti-Semitism in Turkey today.
Korkut is from Izmir, the “most modern city in Turkey – extremely modern, women can walk on the streets safely at night, and very few of the people voted for Erdogan.” Korkut estimates that in Izmir, less than a majority of the people are anti-Semitic, but “in the rest of Turkey, the percentages are more like 80 percent.”
Korkut told The Jewish Press that he regularly hears people praise Hitler. “Do not worry, Israel will be destroyed one day, and the day is near that all Jews will pay,” is also something he hears often. He says that discussions of killing Jews is practically as common in Turkey as are discussions of killing rodents or invasive plants in other parts of the world.
Towards the end of the session with the Turkish Dutch immigrants, one boy matter of factly states: “I hate Jews. I can’t get that thought out of my head. Period.” He and the other boys admitted they don’t know any, but don’t see that as an obstacle to saying what they think about Jews. “It’s freedom of speech,” they explain.
Sahin tells them he is positive he will succeed in getting that and similar thoughts out of their heads. But in response, the boys make a bet of 50 Euros (about $65) that Sahin will fail. All the boys feel the same way, and make the same challenge to Sahin. They shake his hand to seal the bet, confident that their hatred is unshakeable.
The hatred of the boys is less alarming, although it has garnered all the attention outside of Holland, than the fact that such an interview aired on Dutch television and no one said anything about it for more than a week. It is likely Ms. Drayer of Trouw underestimated the kind of response such an interview about hatred of and support for killing Muslims would have generated. Think of the response to the airing of the cheap video “Innocence of Muslims.”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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