DENK: A new Muslim anti-Israel Party in the Netherlands
DENK: A new Muslim anti-Israel Party in the Netherlands

The massive non-selective immigration of Muslims into Western Europe is the worst that happened to Jewish communities in Western Europe since the Holocaust. It has also led to the most evil attacks on Israel’s standing in Western Europe. A new development in the Netherlands adds further to the latter.

The new national party DENK (Think) party aims mainly at Muslim voters. Its initiators are two Turkish-born parliamentarians Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk. They were expelled from the Labor party (PvdA) faction at the end of 2014 because they opposed the integration policy for During Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the Netherlands on 7 September 2016, he refused to shake his hand.
immigrants of Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA).[1] He had criticized the role of some Dutch Turkish organizations concerning integration of immigrants.[2] Kuzu got some international attention when, during Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the Netherlands on 7 September 2016, he refused to shake his hand.

DENK favors the recognition of the non-existing Palestinian state. This policy has the support of all Dutch parties on the political left. These include the extreme left SP socialist party, the Green Left party, the party for the Animals, the Labor party and the D66 left-liberals. A recent parliamentary motion to recognize Palestine was defeated by 76 against 71 votes.[3]

The supporters of the motion know well that there exist two different Palestinian entities in respectively the 'West Bank' and Gaza. They are humanitarian racists who wish to ignore the fact that the largest Palestinian party Hamas, which controls Gaza, aims in its covenant for the genocide of all Jews.[4] The only other significant Palestinian party Fatah, which controls the 'West Bank', glorifies violence against Israeli citizens.

DENK takes a more extreme anti-Israeli position than all other parliamentary parties. It wants to prohibit the import of products from “illegal” Israeli settlements.[5] It also wants the Dutch government to request the Israeli government to reimburse the Dutch investment “in development projects in ‘Palestine’ which have been destroyed by proven actions of the Israeli government.”[6]

The DENK program is a lengthy document. If one reads it carefully it doesn’t accept the Dutch culture as a lead culture. It expresses that in glib ways, which do not explain exactly what that may mean in practice. It states that not only the immigrants have to listen to the Dutch but also the reverse.[7] One example of such a glib statement is: “When I think about the Netherlands I dream about a healthy Netherlands where the nurse Thea takes into account the desires and demands of aunt Latifa.”[8]

That may mean that Latifa is not willing to be treated by a male doctor. It may also mean that Latifa is an anti-Semite who doesn’t want a Jewish nurse to care for her. I once interviewed a Jewish nurse from Amsterdam. She said: “A Moroccan man whose child I took care of went to his general practitioner. The father said that he did not want his child to be treated by a Jewish nurse. So his doctor sent him to another hospital.”[9] It was one among many cases of Muslim anti-Semitism in the Netherlands. The Jewish nurse whose family I have known for many decades, was not willing to have her name disclosed. That is often the case with for Jews who tell about bad experiences with Muslims.

There are already local Muslim parties for years. In summer 2015 Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (Labor) wanted to lead a trade-mission of his city to Israel. There was opposition against it in the municipal council. It came from a coalition of leftists and Muslim anti-Israel inciters: Nida, a Muslim party, the SP and Green Left. Later in the year Aboutaleb visited Saudi Arabia. SP and two other parties opposed it. The Green Left and NIDA apparently did not mind.[10]

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan (Labor) wanted in 2015 to twin his city with Tel Aviv and Ramallah.[11] Among the first to oppose it were the unions of Turkish workers[12] and Moroccan workers as well as other Muslim organizations.[13] Later a municipal council motion was adopted which put some limitations on the contacts with Tel Aviv but none on the glorifiers of Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians in Ramallah.[14] The motion was proposed by the Labor Party, which traditionally has been the main party which attracted Muslims. It was one example of secondary effects of Muslim anti-Israelism: Discriminatory proposals against Israel might please Muslims.

In 2014, during the last Gaza conflict, demonstrations against Israel took place in a number of Dutch cities. They ignored Hamas’ crimes and thus indirectly supported the Palestinian genocide-promoting party. The participants were usually manly Muslims and Dutch leftists. In Utrecht at such a gathering Judith Sargentini, a Green Left member of the European Parliament spoke. When she not only criticized Israel but also wanted to criticize Hamas, she had to stop speaking.[15]

The number of immigrants and their descendants in the Netherlands from Muslim countries is about one million. This represents about 6% of the Dutch population. One third of these originate from Turkey. There 69% of the adult population are classic anti-Semites as published in 2014 in a In the meantime there are signs in Dutch society that dislike of Muslims is getting stronger.
global study of the Anti Defamation League.[16] Almost one third are Moroccans. The same study found that there the number of classic anti-Semites is 80%.[17] One might characterize one aspect of the Dutch non-selective immigration policy as a huge program bringing in many anti-Semites from Muslim countries.

In the meantime there are signs in Dutch society that dislike of Muslims is getting stronger. It has two components. One is Dutch xenophobia, part of which is Islamophobia. It represents how disliking some people turns into an attack on the group these belong to as a whole. The second is the result of misbehavior, sometimes extreme, of individuals stressing their being Muslims and some Muslim organizations in several ways.

One of the indicators of this dislike are the high poll data of the anti-Islam party PVV led by Geert Wilders. In the 2012 elections it obtained 15 seats out of the 150 in parliament. Current polls give it around twice that number. The PVV program includes closure of all mosques and Islamic schools as well as banning the Koran. Among other items are preventive detention of radical Muslims, the banning of Islamic headscarves in public functions and no further admission of asylum-seekers and immigrants from Islamic countries.[18]


[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid,

[8] Ibid, 4.


[11] “SP wil onderzoek naar stedenband Tel Aviv opschorten”, Parool, 22 August 2014.


[14] Elise Friedmann, “Amsterdamse gemeenteraad voor uitgeklede samenwerking Tel Aviv”, Cidi, 6 November 2015.