A son of a prominent rabbi in the Netherlands has announced plans to move to Israel due to anti-Semitism. Benzion Evers, son of well-known Dutch rabbi Raphael Evers, told De Telegraaf that he feels “suffocated and caged” in his home country due to anti-Jewish sentiment.
“I'm fed up with the verbal abuse and the streetfighting,” he told Het Parool, another Dutch paper.
“It's not that you can't leave the house, but you need to constantly hide, to be careful,” he explained. He related his own cautionary measures, which include avoiding certain neighborhoods, and hiding his kippah (yalmulke) when walking through areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants.
While anti-Semitism is not uncommon among Muslim immigrants, particularly those from Morocco and Turkey, there is a second kind of anti-Semitism that is common in the Netherlands as well, Evers said, an educated anti-Semitism that is disguised as anti-Zionism.
Five of the Evers' family children have already left the Netherlands, he added, and his father plans to move as well after retirement. More than half of orthodox Jews end up leaving the country, he stated.
Just days earlier, Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein stated that religious Jews have no future in the Netherlands due to anti-Semitism. They should “emigrate to the U.S. or Israel,” he said. His comments were published in the book “The Decay: Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands” by Manfred Gerstenfeld.
The main cause of increasing hostility to Jews is “anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing,” Bolkestein stated. He expressed doubt that the government is capable of fighting anti-Semitism and protecting its Jewish citizens.
His controversial remarks were met with an uproar. The Dutch Parliament held a special session to discuss the issue.
Earlier in the year Dutch Chief Rabbi Benjamin Jacobs spoke to Arutz Sheva and expressed concern over Dutch anti-Semitism, which he said is becoming prevalent. He said that many Dutch citizens are upset by anti-Semitism, but concluded, “As the situation is today, the future for Dutch Jewry is moving to Israel.”