The Netherlands-based Christians for Israel International and Shalva, Israel’s Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities have mobilized support for the State of Israel in the Netherlands following the Hamas massacre of over 1,400 Israelis by Hamas on Simchat Torah.

"The Netherlands has long been one of Israel’s most faithful friends. Unfortunately, Dutch citizens are not entirely immune to BDS propaganda or virulent anti-Semitism carried into their peace-loving country by waves of immigrants, and the past few years have seen an alarming rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the country. However, last night, Monday, hundreds of Dutchmen joined together from cities, towns, and rural villages to publicly proclaim their solidarity with Israel and express their love of the Israeli people,"

"On October 7, Hamas terrorists infiltrated the Gaza-Israeli border and butchered over 1,400 men, women, children, senior citizens, and infants, injured over 4,000, and abducted 200, forcing Israel to take action and declare war in response to what has been labeled the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. The international community initially reacted with an outcry of rage against Hamas’ gruesome carnage of civilians and rallied in support of Israel. Yet as the war now approaches its 10-day mark, anti-Semitism is again rearing its ugly head and, especially in Europe, a rising number of anti-Israel demonstrations seek to condemn Israel and ignore the true grounds of a war forced upon them," they said.

"Courageously battling this trend are Holland’s citizens who are boldly rallying in support of Israel. In a series of four events co-sponsored by the Netherlands-based Christians for Israel International and Shalva, Israel’s Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, thousands of natives are emerging from their homes in rural towns and villages, as well as metropolitan cities, to proudly proclaim their unity and solidarity with Israel. Christians for Israel (C4I) is a non-denominational global movement with over 150,000 supporters from all Christian denominations.

"The first of the four events took place on Monday night, in Oud-Beijerland, a town in West Netherlands, and another three events are scheduled in the coming days in Veedendal, Hoogveen, and Antwerp. Monday’s meeting was attended by close to 900 guests who united for an evening of solidarity and prayer for Israel. The event featured singing, prayers, and speeches by Frank van Oordt, Executive Director of Christians for Israel Netherlands, and his brother Roger van Oordt, former Executive Director of the association and honorary consul in the Netherlands for the State of Israel. The brothers spoke passionately about the situation in Israel, expressed their love for the country and its people, and offered heartfelt prayers for their safety and triumph in battle. At the close of the evening, all the guests rose and sang Israel’s national anthem.

"The highlight of the evening was a keynote address by Rabbi Kalman Samuels, founder and CEO of Shalva. In 1977, Samuel’s infant son Yossi Samuels was injured and rendered blind, deaf, and acutely hyperactive. The Samuels’ personal challenge and experiences raising a special child inspired them to found a center to provide education to disabled children. Over the course of more than thirty years, Shalva developed transformative programs to fill this community need, inspiring grassroots changes in public policy and social inclusion. Today, Shalva provides an all-encompassing range of services for thousands of people with disabilities from infancy to adulthood and their families. Its comprehensive life-cycle programming provides leading-edge therapies, inclusive educational frameworks, social and recreational activities, employment training, independent living, as well as respite and family support. In addition to catering to thousands of beneficiaries, Shalva is visited annually by approximately 180,000 people from the broader community and dignitaries from Israel and abroad who come to learn about the organization’s pioneering support models and to experience inclusion firsthand.

"In the course of his keynote address, Samuels vividly described the terror threats facing Israeli civilians as they are barraged by constant rocket fire, and especially of the challenges that Shalva faces maintaining their vital activities on behalf of disabled persons during wartime. He explained that since the outbreak of war, Shalva National Center, which is designated as a national crisis response center, has mobilized its resources to receive hundreds of individuals who have been evacuated from southern Israel along the Gaza border. Shalva is offering them not only a physical haven, but also material support and emotional care, clothing, medications, and social service support to process the recent trauma," they said.

Marianne F., a senior citizen and retiree who attended the event, describes that she was visiting Israel last week when the war broke out. “I’m here tonight because I love Israel and I want to show my support of Israel. I never thought such a thing could happen. It’s terrible, shocking. I woke up Saturday morning, heard what Hamas had done, and my host came and announced ‘We’re at war.’

“Before we knew it, sirens were blaring and we were running to shelter. As the hours passed, we heard more and more about the atrocities. I’m so sorry that Israel has to go through this again. I want to encourage them and say that there are lots of people in Holland who love Israel, who stand behind Israel. We won’t forget what happened, and we’ll stand behind you!”

Lisa, 26, echoes these sentiments: “I’m here as a representative of my people, supporting Israel and letting them know that we stand with them. We love Israel, and we believe that Israel is a great nation.”
Director of Christians for Israel Frank van Oordt shares his feelings about the evening. “Tonight’s event was a wonderful opportunity to speak out our solidarity with the people of Israel during these difficult times. People are comparing what Israel is doing to what Hamas is doing, but you can’t compare, because we have one side that is pursuing peace and love fighting another side that just seeks to destroy. This is a misrepresentation, a lie, and at Christians for Israel, we’re committed to fighting this lie. My message to the people of Israel right now is that we will stand with you during these terrible times, we’ll always pray for you, and if there is anything we can do to show you that we love you, we will do that every day.”

Honorary consul to Israel Roger van Oordt adds, “As Christians who stand with Israel, we know that all the promises given to Israel will be fulfilled, and peace and righteousness will spread from Jerusalem to Europe. We pray for the people of Israel, and we know that although the struggle is very hard, you will win, because God is with you, blessing and saving you.”

Responding to the outpouring of love, Samuels expressed, “I’m so moved by the overwhelming support and love of the Dutch people to my fellow Israelis. During these heartbreaking, terrifying times, our country is in dire need of your support to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Israel’s most vulnerable.”
With her lapel decorated with two small pins—one of the blue-and-white Israeli flag and one with the Netherlands’ red, white and-blue—Karen G. summed up the evening in a few words: “We support you, Israel. We love you, Israeli people, and we stand by you.”