'They told me Hitler's work needs to be finished - then they switched to beating and stoning'

In an interview with Ynet, Eitan Cohen, an Israeli student who is bullied at his school in Toronto, and his parents talk about the touching gesture of support by the local Jewish community; I felt much safer than I ever felt at school'

After months of suffering antisemitic attacks from other students and without an adequate response from the educational institution, Israeli teen Eitan Cohen on Friday arrived at the school in Toronto where he studies accompanied by hundreds of members of the Jewish community.
In an interview on Sunday in the Ynet studio, Eitan talked about the harassment he suffers at school from Muslim students.
"It started at the beginning of the year, but it increased a lot since October 7. At first it was just curses and words, hurtful words, like 'We will do to you what Hamas did ', 'Hitler's work needs to be finished', words in that style. Then they moved to something more physical, to beatings, and from there it has now progressed to stoning."
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מלווים את הילדים לבית הספר
מלווים את הילדים לבית הספר
Eitan Cohen came to school accompanied by hundreds of members of the local Jewish community
(Photo: X platform)
The boy's mother, Adi, said that, even though she and her husband appealed to school officials to stop the antisemitic harassment, nothing was successful.
"There were many appeals to the principal, the deputy principal, the school's security officers, and in the end nothing changed," the mother said. "The school says it did everything it could to reduce the severity of the incidents, to tone them down."
Adi said that the harassment of her son only increased. "We wanted to give the school an opportunity to deal with the incidents and we saw that it was not going to work. We saw that it was getting worse, until on Thursday it reached what I very much hope is the peak, and that the situation will not worsen beyond that. I spoke to them again and they said ' What do you want us to do?'" The boy's father, Moshe, added that, on Thursday, stones were thrown at his son, but the school did not intervene. "The principal said she was busy and didn't have time to ask the student," the father said.
"The initial idea was a demonstration of support, where we would accompany Eitan to school, to show that the community here supports us and that we will not let these things happen. If the school does not protect him, we will make sure he feels safe and protected," Adi explained. She said that an announcement was posted on social media and many responded to the call to accompany Eitan to school.
Eitan said coming to school accompanied by 300 supporters made him feel safe.
"I felt much safer than I have ever felt at school. I feel that maybe now there is a chance to help other Jewish students at school," he said. He added that many of the school's students are Jewish, and they also suffer from antisemitism from other students. "The Jewish students at school told me 'well done'," he said.
Eitan said that he hopes that in the wake of the show of support from the Jewish community, the harassment from other students will stop. "I really hope to stay. I saw that there are four more Jewish students who wear kippas who want to attend the school next year," he said. "Now at school children are even afraid to wear caps."
Adi said that after she and her husband finish their work, they will return to Israel.
"We came here for work, for continued professional progress. I had offers to stay here, I refused them," she said. "Our place is in Israel. It is dangerous for Jews all over the world. If it is dangerous, we prefer to be in Israel, to fight for what is ours." Moshe added: "We came for a two-year program. We already have plane tickets to Israel in the summer, we are not staying here."
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