Dutch Anti-Semites Fined

A Dutch magistrate convicted protestors for shouting anti-Semitic slogans during a demonstration against Israel's military operations in Gaza.

Avraham Zuroff ,

Sinai Center, Holland
Sinai Center, Holland
Israel News Photo (Courtesy: Sinai Center)

A Dutch magistrate gave one man a € 400 fine and another 30 hours community service and a three-week suspended prison sentence for shouting anti-Semitic slogans during a demonstration against Israel's military operations in Gaza.

The two protestors were found guilty of shouting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” during a demonstration by about 100 people in the center of the city of Utrecht last month.

The judge stated that he wanted to send a message that such behavior would not be tolerated, the ANP news agency reports. “You can shout many things at a demonstration, but this is so upsetting and offensive that it is a criminal act,” the judge said.

At an anti-war demonstration in Amsterdam on January 3rd, the crowds could also be heard chanting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” As the crowds broke into rhythmic chants of “Hitler, Hitler,” some protestors, who felt that the demonstration got out of hand, walked away. However, many remained. At the front of the march stood Dutch parliamentarian Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party, along with other protestors, who called for an intifada against Israel during the anti-Jewish, pro-jihad rally. 

References to the Holocaust are an especially charged issue in the Netherlands due to the country’s poor record in preventing its Jewish citizens from Nazi deportation. About 80 percent of Dutch Jews – over 100,000 – were murdered during the Second World War, many of them in gas chambers.

Stepped-up Anti-Semitism
The latest attack occurred last Tuesday when two bullets grazed a window of the Sinai Jewish Center in Amstelveen. Bulletproof glass prevented any casualties. Police suspect that the incident was related to Operation ‘Cast Lead.’

At least four Dutch synagogues were targets of arson or stoning during Israel's military operations in Gaza.

An arson attempt on a synagogue took place nearly three weeks ago in Amsterdam’s southern district. Since Operation ‘Cast Lead’, security on Jewish community property has been stepped up. "In the last month, there were as many anti-Semitic incidents as there were throughout 2007 and what worries me the most is that they are of a much more serious nature," says Ronny Naftaniel, director of Centre Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI).

Naftaniel considers the gun shots fired at the Jewish center the heralding of a 'next stage' of anti-Semitism in the Netherlands. Since the IDF’s operations against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has dramatically grown.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents rose by a similar rate as during the Lebanon war in 2006, when anti-Semitism in Holland rose by 64 percent.

Dutch PM Trys to Defuse Tension
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende stated January 23rd that Dutch Muslim and Jewish groups need to work together to ease tensions following a series of anti-Semitic attacks. Balkenende, who met with both Jewish and Muslim leaders, said that the “feelings of unease” required attention. In addition, he said that the communities need to come together to defuse aggression. He cited as an example Muslim action last year to calm tempers after Geert Wilders, an opponent of radical Islam, released his short film, Fitna, which denounces the Koran, calling it a fascist book that incites jihad, holy war.

The Court of Appeal in Amsterdam ordered the criminal prosecution last month of Wilders for expressing anti-Islamic sentiments in a documentary film that he produced.

Although various Internet providers have banned the movie, Israel National News has posted the film here in order to educate the public about the dangers of Islamic extremism.