European Muslims
European MuslimsReuters

There was an increase of 71% in anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands in 2014 compared to 2013, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), a Dutch monitor, said on Wednesday.

According to the organization in its annual report, 100 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in the Netherlands in 2013, compared to 171 in 2014.

The report found that people who are recognizable as being Jewish, such as those wearing a yarmulke (kippah), were especially targeted by anti-Semitism, which included verbal abuse and harassment on the streets. The number of incidents of physical violence doubled, from 3 in 2013 to 6 in 2014.

Approximately half of the anti-Semitic incidents took place during the Gaza war last summer, CIDI found.

The serious increase in the number of incidents in 2014 led to an enhanced sense of insecurity among the Jewish community in the Netherlands, CIDI found, especially in the wake of the attack in the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014 and the threat to the country by jihadists returning from the Middle East.

One worrisome phenomenon documented by CIDI was the failure of police to interfere in anti-Semitic incidents. One example brought by the organization was that of a woman who wanted to report a threat of violence during a party. The police responded by asking whether she had a permit to hold the party.

CIDI also said it was “very worrying that in schools, where citizenship, democracy and respect should be taught, many incidents were reported.”

The organization noted that there were 15 incidents of anti-Semitic nature in and around Dutch schools in 2014, including one where a Jewish boy was stabbed with a protractor and injured in the stomach.

As CIDI pointed out, the violence in the Netherlands particularly flared during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer.

During that time, thousands of people protested in the city of Rotterdam against what some labelled Israel's “genocide in Gaza”. As many as 10,000 people took part in the demonstration against Israel's defensive operation in Gaza, with marchers waving posters reading: "Free Palestine" and "No Dutch support for Palestinian genocide".

Similar demonstrations in other countries saw hundreds of Muslim extremists attacking a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.

There have also been anti-Israel protests in Berlin. Footage of one of these protests showed hundreds of demonstrators chanting in German, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own”.