Op-Ed: The Outburst of Dutch Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism
Dr. Manfred GerstenfeldThe writer has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the boards...
The best way to make an interim assessment of the major aspects of the recent outburst of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in Europe is by focusing on a single country. The Netherlands serves as a good example of this for various disparate reasons. In France, for instance, the extreme violence against Jews, mainly by Muslims, overshadows all other aspects of Jew-hatred. It is there far more difficult to get a grip on its many aspects.
The non-selective massive immigration of Muslims in the Netherlands, like elsewhere in Europe, is the most negative event for Jews that has occurred in the post-war period.
The explosion of anti-Semitism in The Netherlands so far has mainly manifested itself in threats and hate on the internet. Physical hatred has also been seen on the streets. According to a source which deals with the safety of Jewish citizens cars in South Amsterdam have been vandalized with swastikas. Many Jewish families have removed their mezuzah – a roll of parchment which makes them identifiable as Jews – from their doorposts, in order to avoid becoming targets of violence. Various Jews have told media that they live in fear.
At least fifteen Jewish businesspeople have hired security-guards. One of them is Roland Kahn, a well-known textile entrepreneur. He says that he has been the recipient of insults calling him a dirty Jew. Even his Moroccan employees are threatened by other Moroccans, because they work for him. There are also threats against his shops. Kahn added that both his daughter and his female partner, who has a Muslim background, are threatened.
The Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet (MDI) which monitors anti-Semitism on the Internet has published that never in its seventeen years of existence it has received so many complaints about anti-Semitism. Usually there are two or three such incidents a week. In recent days they have received twenty to thirty complaints per day.
After the Israeli campaign in Gaza started, a stone was thrown through the windows of the home of Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs. He says that it is the fifth time this happened in the past two years. Jacobs remarked: “The message is obvious. I am probably too pro-Israeli, I am Jewish and I am a Chief Rabbi. It would be infantile if I would not see the link.
Jacobs also complained that the Christian churches had not shown solidarity with Dutch Jews. He said that if Protestants had thrown a stone through the window of a Catholic bishop, he would have been on the forefront of those who condemned this act. Only after this the key leader of the large Protestant umbrella organization PKN, Pastor Arjan Plaisier, reacted. He asked Jacobs to stay in the Netherlands. It was typical also for other European countries: that Jews have to take the initiative to ask church organizations to show solidarity, instead of these reacting by themselves. The PKN includes also various organizations of extreme anti-Israel inciters.
Anti-Israel demonstrations have taken place in several Dutch cities. Nominally these are in favor of the citizens in Gaza. The conflict is, however between the democracy Israel and the genocidal terrorist organization Hamas, which in its party program promotes the mass murder of Jews. In fact, these demonstrations indirectly support a Palestinian Islamonazi movement. The prewar precursor of Hamas, the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al Husseini, was the main Palestinian Arab leader at the time. During the Second World War he extolled the similarity in values between his vision of Islam at large and Nazism.
The main excesses occurred during anti-Israeli demonstrations in The Hague. There were several flags of ISIS the most criminal of the many Muslim terrorist organizations. There were also jihadi flags and signs equating Israeli flags with the swastika. The Dutch state news broadcaster NOS was forced to admit that it had intentionally omitted these pictures from its broadcast about the demonstration.
After another anti-Israeli demonstration, the mayor of The Hague Jozias van Aartsen falsely reported that there had been no transgressions of the law. Now a petition is underway for his resignation. By midday July 29 almost fifteen thousand people had signed it. Van Aartsen was the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs when Arafat started the second intifada in September 2000. In May 2001 Van Aartsen praised Arafat and criticized Israel.
Shimon Samuels, director of international relations of The Simon Wiesenthal Center in a letter to Van Aartsen wrote that the Arab speaking policeman or translator who attended the anti-Israel demonstration had lied that there were no illegal transgressions. In the past there have been occasional accusations that interpreters, for example in asylum cases, intentionally mistranslate what those investigated say. This time one interpreter has been caught red handed. In an earlier letter to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Samuels had already raised these issues.
Several Dutch Muslim leaders who are falsely considered moderate, have been outed as indirect supporters of Hamas. One is Fatima Elatik, an Amsterdam Labor party politician who attended one of the Hague demonstrations. Several Jews afterwards tried to whitewash her behavior, because in the past she had helped finance the cleaning up of a Jewish cemetery. That can however not be seen as a counterweight to attending a gathering which supports the Islamonazis of Hamas.
The Dutch government has been warned for many years about the anti-Semitism problems. There have been a number of debates in Parliament. One followed the publication of my 2010 book The Decay: Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands. In it, I quoted a former minister and head of the Liberal party, Frits Bolkestein. He advised those Jewishly active to tell their children to leave the Netherlands for America or Israel. The reason he gave was that there were so many non-integrated Muslim youngsters in The Netherlands which would cause problems for them.
In April 2013 the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper met Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Labor, to discuss with him the major anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in the Netherlands. Cooper drew attention to the 2011 study of the University of Bielefeld, which found that more than 38% of Dutch people over sixteen years old agree with the false statement that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. Asscher said that he had not heard about this study, whereupon Cooper sent it to him. There was no reaction for almost a year.
In late 2013, this issue came up in a debate in the Dutch parliament. Asscher reacted that these findings were worrisome and unacceptable, yet proposed no action. Thereafter Cooper wrote to him also drawing attention to the fact that the Netherlands was the only West European country which has not admitted or apologized for the failures of its wartime governments while in exile in London. Asscher replied, repeating that the anti-Israelism was unacceptable. It was clear from the letter that the Dutch government didn’t intend to do anything about the widespread extreme anti-Israelism. Cooper’s request in March for a new meeting to discuss this negative answer has not yet received a reply by Asscher.
The above is a small selection about what is increasingly wrong in the Netherlands about Jews and Israel. It illustrates once again that the non-selective massive immigration of Muslims in the Netherlands, like elsewhere in Europe, is the most negative event for Jews that has occurred in the post-war period. It also shows the ongoing lack of willingness of the Dutch authorities to address the country’s widespread anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Furthermore, it deals with many other issues which will require an analysis of an increasingly ugly Europe.
 Matthias Küntzel, “Djihad und Judenhass”, (Freiburg: ça ira-Verlag, 2003), 39. [German]
 Manfred Gerstenfeld, Het Verval, Joden in een Stuurloos Nederland, (Amsterdam: van Praag, 2010), 109. [Dutch]
 Rabbi Abraham Cooper Letter to Deputy Prime Minister Asscher, 6 February 2014, TS.
 Lodewijk Asscher letter to Rabbi Abraham Cooper, 19 February 2014, TS.
 Rabbi Abraham Cooper letter to Deputy Prime Minister Asscher, 13 March 2014, TS.