Viewers of David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count were left in tears last night after seeing primary school children taking part in a security drill in London.
The documentary, which aired on Channel 4, saw the comedian speaking with different Jewish celebrities about anti-Semitism, including Stephen Fry, Rachel Riley and Sarah Silverman.
However at the end of the programme, David visited his old primary school in North London, which was not named, where he described how the pupils were taking part in a security drill.
He said the children, whom he said was between seven to nine years old, were taking part in the security drill ‘all the time’, adding: ‘We’re not allowed to show you what they’re doing in there. The kids will be doing things to protect themselves against the possibility of the school being attacked by an intruder.’
Many of those watching were left in tears watching the shocking scene, with one writing: ‘Every Jewish school in the UK practises safety drill against intruders. I didn’t know that. I live in a town that has a huge Jewish community It breaks my heart that any child should know how to do this.’
Viewers of David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count were left in tears last night after seeing primary school children taking part in a security drill in London
Another added: ‘Watching the Jewish school in #davidbaddiel #jewsdontcount going through an attack safety drill is both enraging and profoundly depressing. And it only happens because of #racism.’
A third wrote: ‘Sobering seeing that security drill at the Jewish school.’
Another commented: ‘A lot of very trashy racists desperately trying to counter #jewsdontcount with whataboutery that Baddiel has obviously pre-empted and rebuts instantly. It’s good to watch.
‘But deeply depressing at the same time. The security drill in the Jewish primary school is heartbreaking.’
However at the end of the programme, David visited his old primary school where he was shown reading his book to a class – before they took part in a security drill
David visited the school after discussing a ‘global rise in attacks’ with David Schwimmer.
He was shown reading one of his children’s books to a room full of children.
However he then walked out of the classroom, and a blind could be seen being drawn across the window.
He explained: ‘What’s happening now is a security drill. They practise this all the time at this school.
Many of those watching were left in tears watching the shocking scene, calling it ‘heartbreaking’ to see
‘We’re not allowed to show you what they’re doing in there. The kids will be doing things to protect themselves against the possibility of the school being attacked by an intruder.
‘Recently, there’s been a lot of gun crime in America. And I happen to have seen online, children doing security drills protecting themselves in America.
‘I’ve seen people saying, “Isn’t it good that because we do have gun control in this country, that children in the UK don’t have to do this kind of drill?”
‘But they do. Every Jewish school in the UK has to practise security drills like this one.
‘Because every Jewish school in the UK is under threat. I’ll tell you something – when I came to this school, we didn’t do this kind of thing.’
He said it had started six years ago, when he returned to the school to read some of his books to children.
David said he had visited the school over a number of years to read his book to children, but it was only in the last six years that they had started regularly taking part in the drills
He said: ‘They showed me this, this is what six year old, seven year olds, eight year olds, nine-year-olds have to do. And it broke my heart.’
Many Jewish schools in the UK already have robust security thanks to around £1.6 million a year in contributions from parents to help keep pupils safe.
The Government contributes £2 million per year towards security, while the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, adds about £500,000 each year.
The programme comes as a report found the number of anti-Semitic attacks rocketed around the world last year with the UK, US and Germany seeing a huge rise in violent assaults, arson and vandalism against Jews.
A study by Tel Aviv University found a surge in online hate speech, financial hardship caused by Covid lockdowns, and the intensified Israel-Palestine conflict last year all contributed to an increase in attacks against Jewish people and communities.
The camera panned to an alarm going off, before David left the classroom and described how the drills were happening in case of an attack
The success of the far-right and far-left in both political and online spheres has also fuelled the surge, as well as anti-Semitic conspiracy theories related to Covid, with social media playing an ‘exceptionally alarming role’.
The study also said: #Another factor contributing to the negative trend of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks is that some human-right activists began to exclude Jews and Israel from their struggles consciously.
‘Racism, they argue, concerns African-Americans and African-Europeans, Roma, LBGTQs, indigenous minorities, asylum seekers, and foreign workers, but not Jews.’
The 28th annual report was published by the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, based on national data.
David said the children, whom he said was between seven to nine years old, were taking part in the security drill ‘all the time’
It found a ‘significant increase in various types of anti-Semitic incidents in most countries with large Jewish populations’.
All the world’s largest Jewish communities around the world outside of Israel saw an increase in incidents other than Italy and Argentina, who saw a slight drop and no change respectively.
In the UK, 2,255 incidents were recorded in 2021, a 34 per cent increase on 2020 and up 24 per cent from the 1,813 in 2019.