Anti-Semitism (illustration)
Anti-Semitism (illustration)Israel news photo: archive

The Dutch daily NRC writes that Mehmet Sahin, a doctoral student, has had to go into hiding with his family. The Mayor of Arnhem, Pauline Krikke, advised him to do so after he received death threats. Sahin is a volunteer who tries to re-educate street youths in Arnhem.

A few weeks ago, he interviewed several Dutch-Turkish youngsters on the Nederland 2 TV station. They said that they admired Hitler and the Holocaust and regretted that Hitler had not finished exterminating the Jews.  Sahin reprimanded them. Apparently, people in the neighborhood where he lives are collecting signatures to make Sahin leave the area. The municipality has announced that the prosecution is investigating the matter.

Labor Party parliamentarian Ahmed Marcouch said that he will ask parliamentary questions about the threats. He remarked: “It is horrible that someone has to be afraid because he has done something that we all should do – teach children not to hate.”

On Saturday, several major Dutch papers published the fact that the Simon Wiesenthal Center had written a letter about the broadcast to Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The largest Dutch daily, De Telegraaf, even put the item on the front page of its Saturday edition which has several million readers. The SWC has also sent a copy of the letter to the chair of the parliament, asking her to distribute it to all parliamentarians.

In the letter, SWC Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Mark Weitzman, Director for Government affairs, express their shock at this development. They point out that the Netherlands was only two years ago the Chair of The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. They add that “it was even more shocking to hear that during the video the students who spoke claimed that their feelings were shared by native Dutch teenagers, saying, ‘Nobody in our school likes Jews’. The SWC representatives asked the Prime Minister to investigate the presence of anti-Semitic attitudes in Dutch society.”

Arutz Sheva asked international anti-Semitism expert Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld to comment on the latest developments in this matter. He said: “Every few years the truth regarding anti-Semitism comes to the surface in The Netherlands, without anything being done about it. The previous time was in 2010 after my book The Decay: Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands was published. I quoted there the ex-minister of Defense and former leader of the liberal party Frits Bolkestein. He advised conscious [sic] Jews to tell their children to emigrate to the United States and Israel, as there is no future for them in the Netherlands. This in view of the many poorly integrated Muslims. Thereafter, a number of recognizable Jews were interviewed in the media. They told about the harassment they faced mainly from Moroccan youngsters. All this led to a parliamentary debate with no practical consequences.       

“In the meantime, Dutch left-wing politicians continue to incite against Israel. A few days ago, in a very amateurish lecture on the Middle East, Diederik Samsom, leader of the Labor Party, accused Israel inter alia of transgressing international law. The Netherlands has, however, never met its international law commitment under the UN genocide convention to bring Iran before an international court. According to the European definition of anti-Semitism, expressing such a double standard is an anti-Semitic act.  

“There is one more important conclusion which can be drawn from the development of the "Turkish youngsters affair". The initial broadcast was not mentioned in the leading media. It was mainly thanks to the Simon Wiesenthal Center that the media picked it up several weeks later. This shows again that Dutch Jewry is no longer fully able to confront alone the anti-Semitism in its country.

"In the future, the major international Jewish organizations will have to intervene more as environments get more hostile. That is true as well for other small European Jewish communities. This has already happened, for instance, in Sweden, Norway and Hungary. Denmark is probably the next candidate, due to Arab aggression against Jews there.”