“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.