The Netherland’s Jews are once again finding themselves under attack as they witness an upsurge in anti-Semitic-related incidents. Slogans such as “filthy Jew” can increasingly be heard throughout the country, Holocaust denial has become commonplace, anti-Israel protests are the norm and a rising number of violent attacks go unreported.
Guy Muller of the Netherlands Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) explained the hazards of appearing externally Jewish in public: “If you walk around and are identifiable as a Jew, there is a higher chance that you will be attacked. We know that there are people who are attacked more than once each year.”
Notwithstanding the recorded attacks, a report published by the European Union revealed that 74 percent of all Jewish victims of anti-Semitic attacks did not report the incidents to the authorities.
“They simply put up with it; they take a few hits, put their heads down and carry on,” said Muller.
This finding echos the 2015 AntiSemitismWatch survey results:
Of all the respondents, 77% had witnessed or experienced Anti-Semitism in the previous 12 months.
Of those, 49% had witnessed or experienced 3 or more Anti-Semitic incidents (8% had witnessed or experienced 10 or more Anti-Semitic incidents in the previous 12 months).
The overwhelming majority (59%) had never reported these incidents to the police or a third-party organisation, a potentially shocking indictment on the reliability of UK Anti-Semitism figures typically reported.
The situation for Dutch Jewry has become so worrisome that the country’s Chief Rabbi, Benjamin Jacobs, said, “People are debating removing the mezuzahs from their doorposts, since they identify them as Jews.”
“If I look back, 40 years ago never ever someone could call me a dirty Jew. 20 years ago also not. But slowly we see that it is getting worse.”
Indeed, back in February this year it was reported that the Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Lodewijk Asscher, had stopped interacting on social media because of anti-Semitic abuse against him.
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