Dutch Queen Beatrix, who will be succeeded on Tuesday, April 30, by her son, the new King Willem Alexander, will take official leave from Dutch citizens on September 14, which falls out on Yom Kippur this year.
The program, organized by a national committee, states that the event is meant “to give all Dutchmen as a collective” the opportunity to thank the Queen.
The committee which organizes the festivities together with the court, announced that it has received disappointed reactions from Jewish organizations. Yet it says that it cannot change the date because it was chosen on the basis of the availability of the main hall in Rotterdam and the programs of the artists who have been booked.
Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said in the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad: “Jews are confronted with the facts: we do not belong. That hurts.” He was however, invited for the coronation on Tuesday.
In the meantime, Chief Editor Maurice Swirc of the Dutch Jewish Weekly NIW expressed his disappointment that the new King and his wife Queen Maxima, have still not distanced themselves publicly from Maxima’s father Jorge Zorreguieta. He was a Deputy Minister of Agriculture in the bloody and anti-Semitic dictatorial Argentinean military regime of President Jorge Videla. This ruler was later sentenced to life in jail.
At the insistence of the Dutch government, Maxima’s father was not invited to her wedding and will not be present at her coronation.
Arutz Sheva asked Israeli expert on The Netherlands, Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, author of the bestselling book in Dutch The Decay, Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands (2010) to comment. He stated that Dutch Jewry has traditionally viewed the Royal House of Orange very positively, but this feeling has not always been reciprocated.
"Queen Beatrix’ grandmother Wilhelmina, objected to a proposed location for the housing of German Jewish refugees before the Second World War. It was more than ten kilometers from her palace, yet too close for her liking. During the war, in her years in exile in London, she often addressed the Dutch people by radio. During that entire period, she devoted only five sentences to the persecuted Dutch Jewish citizens.
"Queen Wilhelmina’s speechwriter, historian Lou de Jong, has been quoted as saying that he inserted many more remarks concerning Dutch Jews into the drafts of her speeches, but the Queen deleted them.
"Queen Beatrix’s mother, Queen Juliana, successfully intervened to help the Dutch Jewish community when Amsterdam Chief Rabbi Aaron Schuster publicly complained ten years after the war about the discrimination of Dutch Jewry. Earlier, she refused to sign the execution judgments of major German war criminals who had sent 75% of the 140,000 Dutch Jews to their deaths, mainly in the extermination camps Auschwitz and Sobibor. The most extreme war criminals who survived were later freed.
"To prepare for their new tasks, Alexander and Maxima have already visited a number of countries including Middle Eastern dictatorships, The United Arab Emirates and Oman. A visit to Israel is not on their agenda."