Tag Archives: Netherlands

Anti-Semitic Dutch soccer chant makes its way to school

“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.”

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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.

Has anti-Semitism in the Netherlands become the norm again?

imagesThe 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.

What is your experience of the Netherlands?  Do you live, work or visit?  Does this article resonate with you?

Let us know via the comments section below or by email to secretary@antisemitismwatch.com

Rabbi attacked in Brussels

A young rabbi from the Netherlands said unidentified individuals threw stones at him at a park in Brussels in a suspected anti-Semitic incident.

images-3The rabbi asked for anonymity, citing a desire to have his name only,  “associated with positive issues, and not anti-Semitism.”

He said he was walking through the park in Brussels’ southern district of Forest with a friend when “stones were thrown at us. For one reason only: being visibly Jewish.” No one was hurt in the incident, he said. He did not see the people who threw the stones at him and his conversation partner.

The rabbi, who is in Brussels to visit family, said that he has had anti-Semitic insults hurled at him sometimes in the Netherlands, but never stones.

Commenting on his assault in Brussels, the young Dutch rabbi said: “I hope and pray that the leaders of the Muslim communities in Europe … stop their unhealthy obsession with Israel and the Jewish communities and they should start taking responsibility for their youth.”

Read more here.

Is the Dutch banning of Shechita anti-Semitic?

The Netherlands is moving to implement stricter rules overseeing the religious slaughter of animals for meat consumption by observant Jews as well as for Muslims, the Dutch Economic Affairs Ministry announced this week.

Once implemented, the new Dutch rules will ban the export of kosher and halal meat outside of the Netherlands, and will require all domestic religious slaughterhouses to register with the government.

shechita-logoAdditionally, religiously slaughtered meat will have to be clearly labeled and will not be able to be sold at regular supermarket chains, according to a letter written by Junior Economic Affairs Minister Martijn van Dam and posted on the Dutch government website.

Some Jewish leaders have blasted the decision as anti-Semitic due to the restriction it places on the ability of observant Jews to follow halachic law. Others believe that such a ban is illegal under European Union law.

The Dutch move follows a similar decision taken by the Danish government. Spokesmen for both respective governments suggested, contrary to the case presented by shechita authorities, that animal rights was the main consideration.

“I find the current implementation unacceptable. Negative effects on animal welfare must be minimized,” wrote Van Dam.

What do you think? Is the banning of shechita driven in whole or in part by the rising tide of European anti-Semitism? Let us know via our online comment section below or by email at secretary@antisemitismwatch.com

Read more here.

After Dutch government report now Deputy PM faces anti-Semitism

On Monday an AntiSemitismWatch article covered the release of a Dutch government report on the widespread anti-Semitism in the country’s schools. On Tuesday the country’s deputy prime minister said that he has stopped interacting on social media because of anti-Semitic abuse against him.

Lodewijk Asscher, Dutch Deputy Prime Minister. Has faced anti-Semitic abuse online.
Lodewijk Asscher, Dutch Deputy Prime Minister. Has faced anti-Semitic abuse online.

Lodewijk Asscher, who has Jewish ancestors, in a Facebook post in Dutch, entitled “Disrespectful Dog,” lists the handles of several Twitter users who used anti-Semitic language against him, and quotes a number of offensive tweets.

“The Zionist dog Asscher skips UN meeting on racism, not anti-Semitism. The former doesn’t interest him,” wrote one user on Twitter, according to Asscher.

Another said, “Asscher would rather crawl into a Muslim burrow than stand with his own nation! Just like his grandfather, who was happy to work for the occupier.”

Asscher, of the left-leaning Labor Party, wrote that the reference is actually to his great-grandfather, Abraham Asscher, who was a member of the Jewish council set up by the Nazis to control Dutch Jews ahead of their extermination in death camps. He sarcastically congratulated those who traced back his lineage for their “great interest in history.”

As a result of receiving this hate-filled material, he added, “I often no longer react to people who approach me on social media.” Asscher finished by asking social media users to show the posts they intend to publish about him to their mothers or daughters before posting.

“If they also think it’s a good idea, go ahead and post,” he wrote.

 

And another European country shows rise in Antisemitic hate

Mirroring what has been happening in much of Europe, and further afield, the Netherlands is the latest nation to report a significant rise in Antisemitic hate crime and incidents.

Last year the number recorded rose by 71 percent and, worryingly, some police officers are unwilling to intervene, the Jewish community’s watchdog (the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI) on Antisemitism said.

Their statement noted “a worrisome phenomenon — Police officers’ failure to intervene in cases of evident anti-Semitism. Some police officer prefers to look the other way.”

ASW24A woman who wanted to report an anti-Semitic threat after hosting a party was questioned about whether she had permission to hold the party, CIDI wrote.

“The filing of a complaint was sometimes discouraged in contrast with the policy that indeed seeks to enhance reporting,” according to the report.

CIDI also said the severity of the incidents increased. Those who wore kippahs or other Jewish symbols on the street accounted for a large portion of the overall number of victims of anti-Semitic harassment or attacks last year.

The prevalence of incidents in which individuals were harassed on the street because they were perceived as Jewish rose by 90 percent in 2014 over the previous year. Incidents in which people were physically assaulted in anti-Semitic attacks doubled.

“The serious increase of the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2014 worsened the feeling of insecurity within the Jewish community, especially in view of the May 2014 attack on the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels and the threat of returning jihadists,” CIDI wrote.

Read more here.