“Together we’ll burn Jews, because Jews burn the best.”
This is the vile anti-Semitic soccer chant often heard during matches connected to Amsterdam’s Ajax football team. Their players and supporters are often dubbed “Jews” because of the historic Jewish presence in the city, which is sometimes colloquially called “Mokum” after the Yiddish word for “place.”
However, high school pupils of Elde College in the town of Schijndel, 70 miles southeast of Amsterdam decided to repeat the chant during their recent graduation gala ceremony, the Brabants Dagblad daily reported on Wednesday.
The student body and organizing committee of the Elde College gala expressed their sincere apologies for the incident, but Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said the guilty parties “must be prosecuted for hate speech.”
Jacobs referenced the incident during his speech earlier this week in Vught, at a ceremony for Jewish Holocaust victims at a former Nazi internment camp. “Only six years ago, we were profoundly shocked when two young men screamed ‘Heil Hitler’ during a commemoration ceremony at Vught,” he said. “But today, this wouldn’t be so shocking anymore. It is happening all the time in the Netherlands, and we must face this change with honesty, and combat it with education and severe punishments for violators.”
The Chief Rabbi’s own home in Amersfoort has been attacked five times in recent years, especially during periods of unrest in Israel.
The city of Amsterdam will give its Jewish community $11 million as compensation for taxes imposed on Holocaust survivors who returned home to the Dutch capital following World War II.
Upon their return, according to an article in The Telegraph on Monday, the survivors were made to pay a tax because their homes were left empty during the Holocaust. They also had to pay back taxes for the years they had been taken away from the city, as well as insurance fees.
The taxes were discovered by a student in 2013, and that year, Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said the city should “put it right,” according to The Telegraph. On Friday, the city said it would pay the $11 million — an estimate of the total taxes paid by survivors following the war.
“Amsterdam has 5 million to 10 million euros in its coffers that it doesn’t want, and we have no right to it, so we want to give it back to the Jewish community to be used for important projects,” a spokesman for the mayor said, according to the Telegraph. “Finding the individual people or their relatives would be very costly and complex, and that is not the idea.”
The city has suggested the money be put toward a Holocaust memorial monument or community programs.
Dutch football team, PSV Eindhoven have been criticised for its response to a video of some of its fans filmed recently singing about burning Jews.
In the video, which was posted online yesterday (May 10), several dozen fans of the club were filmed at a McDonald’s singing a song that last year brought another Dutch team, FC Utrecht, into disrepute.
“My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews ’cause Jews burn the best,” the PSV Eindhoven fans allegedly sang.
PSV Eindhoven’s spokesman, Thijs Slegers, told the Eindhovens Dagblad daily that while the club will study the footage to see if those filmed belong to the team, “If that’s not the case, there’s nothing we can do,” he said.
Slegers also said there is no proof the video was recorded Monday and that while the chant featured “a horrible text” his club needs “to study what went on” during the scene filmed.
A spokesman for the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, which is a major Dutch watchdog on anti-Semitism, told the RTL broadcaster that “the images don’t lie.”
CIDI has filed a complaint with police for incitement against the people filmed singing.
Last year, the Dutch soccer association slapped FC Utrecht with a $12,000 fine on fans who sang the same song and another chant about Hamas and “sending Jews to the gas” during a match against Ajax.
Ajax and its supporters are often dubbed “Jews” because of the historical Jewish presence in Amsterdam, which is sometimes colloquially called “Mokum” after the Yiddish word for “place.”
Some Ajax fans embrace the label, and some have brought Israeli flags to matches before it was banned on the grounds that it invites anti-Semitic abuse.
On Monday, mass celebrations broke out in the Dutch eastern city after Eindhoven had clinched the Dutch Eredivisie league title by beating PEC Zwolle 3-1 on Sunday while Ajax could only manage a 1-1 draw at second-last De Graafschap. It was the second successive Eredivisie title for the club.
In a move usually reserved for parts of Eastern Europe, a Dutch watchdog on anti-Semitism has called on the City of Amsterdam to rename a municipal hall bearing the name of a former official who helped deport Jews to their deaths.
The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, has urged the city government of the Dutch capital to scrap the honour it conferred more than thirty years ago to Piet Mijksenaar, a late top official with the city.
The move followed the publication last month of a historian’s book about the Asterdorp Ghetto in Amsterdam’s north, which detailed Mijksenaar’s “enthusiastic help with the deportation of Jews, and that he strove to make this process rapid and efficient,” as CIDI described it in a statement.
According to the Het Parool Daily, Mijksenaar also helped save two Jews from the Hollandsche Schouwburg – an Amsterdam theatre house that Nazi occupation forces turned into an internment camp for Jews. But his record of collaboration with the Nazi occupation had remained obscure.
The book detailing Mijksenaar’s collaboration, “Asterdorp” by Stephan Steinmetz, also revealed that Amsterdam hiked rent prices for Jews after they had been confined to ghettos comprising city-owned real estate.
A Dutch ‘CrimeWatch’ style TV program, Opsporing Verzocht, recently appealed for help in finding the vicious attackers of an elderly Dutch Jewish couple in their mid-eighties [Samuel (87) and Diana (86)]. The content of the program is determined by the State Prosecutor’s Office.
Samuel was left permanently blinded by the assailants and Diana was left unable to walk. Indeed, both are confined to a wheelchair. The two have also been forced to sell their house and now live in a nursing home .
In the course of the attack in their house, the cowardly invaders called them “dirty Jews” among other disgusting anti-Semitic insults. Yet the show completely failed to make mention of the anti-Semitic nature of the attack. At the time, the victims said that the attackers appeared to be “Arabic-Moroccan.”
When challenged as to why the obvious nature of the anti-Semitic assault had not been mentioned in the program, Franklin Wattimena, spokesman for the Public Prosecutor in Amsterdam, suggested that Samuel and Diana had not yet given their formal statement to police.
The victims lawyer, Herman Loon Stein, explained that the anti-Semitic feature of the attack was well understood by investigators and the program maker. He also complained that to leave it out potentially jeopardised the opportunity to solve the case.
A spokesman for the Public Prosecutor has now sent a letter to the program makers requesting an additional broadcast. Whether the request of Loon Stein can be honored, the PPS can not say.
The couple’s son has offered a reward of 10,000 euros for information leading to the arrest of the offenders.
In the country with a long Jewish tradition and the world-wide learning generated by Anne Frank’s diary, anti-Semitism is sadly a persistent problem in some Dutch schools and especially among Muslim pupils.
This is according to a new government-commissioned report on discrimination in education, titled “Two Worlds, Two Realities – How Do You Deal with It as a Teacher.” It was published last week by Margalith Kleijwegt, a Dutch-Jewish journalist, at the request of the Dutch ministry of education.
The report, which is based on visits to schools and conversations with dozens of teachers since January 2015, says that teachers sometimes feel powerless to change the deep-seated biases and violent attitudes of some pupils, including on Jews.
One female teacher from Amsterdam of high school pupils following a vocational education program told Kleijwegt of a lesson about democratic values and against discrimination, in which a female pupil of Moroccan descent stood up and said: “If I had a Kalashnikov [assault rifle], I’d gun down all the Jews.” She then made shooting gestures and sounds.
Shocked, the teacher tried to make the pupil empathize with a Jew but felt she was not getting through to her.
“I wasn’t getting there”, the report quotes the teacher as saying. “I asked her to imagine a 5-year-old Jewish girl who lives here. What would she have to do with Israel’s policies? Unfortunately, there was no place for empathy. The pupil didn’t care about that girl. She had only one message: The Jews should die.”
“Anti-Semitic behavior is a recurrent problem in some schools,” Kleijwegt wrote. “Some see it as a provocation [by pupils], others fear it goes deeper: That pupils receive anti-Jewish attitudes at home. The same applies to the growing group of Dutch pupils who say foreigners should rot and die. Is this provocation? Do they receive it at home?”
In the report, Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker wrote that the document “shows a reality that is inconvenient and sometimes painful” but must be confronted and dealt with “in accordance to democratic values.”
AntiSemitismWatch.com brings you its latest global news update:
Austria: Bosnian football fans staged a pro-Palestinian protest that quickly turned Antisemitic while in Vienna, Austria for a soccer match.
The incident was captured in a video where the fans-turned-political-activists set up a protest in Vienna’s central Stephanplatz square.
At first they stood calmly shouting pro-Palestinian slogans. Then, a single voice among the protesters shouted “Kill the Jews.” The calls to violence swelled as the other protesters joined in. In a swarm of rage, they began to jump up and down shouting “Ubij, ubij Židove,” which means “Kill, kill the Jews.”
The enraged protesters were in town for an international friendly soccer match between Austria and Bosnia at the Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna.
Neither Bosnian nor Austrian officials have responded to the incident so far.
Relations between Bosnia and Israel are generally friendly and the country even has a small Jewish community. In May 2014, Israel sent millions of tons of aid to the country when the region experienced record flooding that killed thousands.
Iran: Over 300 artists from Iran and countries such as France, China sent in entries for controversial competition
Hundreds of people from Iran and around the globe submitted entries for the Islamic Republic’s Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, a competition official announced Monday.
“839 artworks have also been sent to the secretariat, 686 of them have been sent to the cartoon section and 153 more are related to caricature section,” Secretary Masud Shojaei-Tabatabaii told the semi-official Fars News Agency, marking the second time since 2006 that the country has held the controversial contest, which makes light of the killing of 6 million Jews in Europe during WWII.
Organizers launched the cartoon contest centered on the theme of Holocaust denial in late January in response to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
In February, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, demanded that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other UN member countries condemn Iran’s planned international cartoon contest on Holocaust denial.
“This contest legitimizes Holocaust denial and encourages Holocaust deniers to continue their incitement,” Prosor said. “It ridicules one of the darkest events in human history, and it cheapens the death of millions of Jews who were murdered. The horrors of the Holocaust are still fresh in the collective memory.”
Netherlands: A Dutch soccer club is working to identify fans who chanted Antisemitic slogans about the Holocaust during a match with a rival team from Amsterdam.
The chants were documented at Galgenwaard Stadium in Utrecht, a city situated 40 miles southeast of the Dutch capital Amsterdam, during an honor division match between Amsterdam’s Ajax team and FC Utrecht, the De Telegraaf daily reported.
Utrecht supporters chanted the slogans to insult rival fans, whom they often call “Jews” because of the historical Jewish presence in Amsterdam, which is sometimes colloquially called “Mokum” after the Yiddish word for “place.”
During the match, dozens could be seen and heard chanting: “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews cause Jews burn the best” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” The chanting went on for several minutes.
Ronny Naftaniel, a prominent Dutch Jewish anti-discrimination activist, called on Ajax to stop future matches featuring anti-Semitic chants.
“When will Ajax players walk off the field? Take action against anti-Semitism,” wrote Naftaniel, who is the executive vice chairperson of CEJI, a Brussels-based Jewish organization promoting tolerance through education.
FC Utrecht said in a statement it is investigating suspected chanters and vowed to punish those identified.
Israel: Vandalizing graves and monuments with swastikas is a popular Antisemitic attack method, particularly in Europe, but the phenomenon has found its way into Israel as well.
Over Passover weekend, vandals graffitied a swastika and hateful slurs on a monument for fallen members of southern town Omer, who died fighting for Israel. The monument is located in the Omer Industrial Park.