Netherlands: Socially acceptable antisemitism

Netherlands: Socially acceptable antisemitism

Almost half of the criminal utterances on the internet are aimed at Jews. The number of incidents in the Netherlands is high. Antisemitism is socially acceptable, and everybody knows it.

In the former De Baarsjes district in Amsterdam-West, in the year 2010, there's a hidden synagogue: Sjoel West (West Synagogue). Every week on the Sabbath, 25-30 Jews come to the services, but the majority of the Jews don't want the synagogue to be noticeable as a synagogue, for fear of problems, discrimination and the cursing of Moroccan-Dutch street riffraff in the neighborhood. In the past Jews who wore a kippah were sometimes pelted with stones. In the building where the synagogue is located there's no Star of David or name on the front, and the synagogue has a secret address. When the bell rings, the door isn't opened just like that, and two Jews will always check who's standing by the door. Besides the shamash (sexton), Erwin Brugmans, all the Jews who come to Sjoel West cover their kippah with a hat. They don't want to be recognized as Jews.

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog -

One in every five history teachers in the big cities (Randstad) sometimes deals with the fact that he or she can't or hardly ever brings up the issue of the Holocaust, because Muslim students in particular have difficulties with it, Elsevier reported on April 27th of this year. ResearchNed surveyed 339 teachers in the VBMO, HAVO and VWO educational systems in 500 schools. Teachers in VMBO school in particular encountered opposition when they wanted to start discussion about the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Ahmed Marcouch, former district mayor of the Slotervaart district in Amsterdam Nieuw-West and a candidate parliament remember, wants the Holocaust to become a compulsory subject in school exams as quickly as possible, he said during a Remembrance Day speech in Slotervaart on May 4th.

Indeed, we should never forget the Final Solution and we should never give in to the intolerance and racism of these young pseudo-Dutch. The teachers should stand tall, but it's much more important to see and fight the Jew-hatred of today: 65 years after the German occupation there are six neighborhoods in our capital where Jews with a kippah or where orthodox clothed Jews (and for that matter also gays who can be identified as such) can't show themselves anymore without running a big risk of being cursed at, spit at, threatened and even manhandled. In addition to De Baarsjes, it's all of Nieuw-West, the Indische Buurt and the Transvaalbuurt in Amsterdam-East and De Pijp in Amsterdam-South, in short, all neighborhoods where there are concentrations of Moroccan Dutch.

I know two Orthodox Jews who for years were beset and cursed on their way to their synagogue in De Pijp by groups of Moroccan youth: "Dirty f*cking Jews. Allah will slaughter all of you." One moved to Israel, the other to Amstelveen where 'they' are not.

Most of their Jewish friends don't dare go with a kippah in the Indische Buurt, Transvaalbuurt or Nieuw-West, or they put a hat over their kippah. Even rabbi Raphael Evers, who lives in the neat Dutch Buitenveldert neighborhood, has developed avoidance behavior, and goes out as little as possible, because outside he's almost always insulted by Moroccans: "Heh. Hitler forgot one." Many Jews that he knows have similar experiences. Evers says that it occurs everywhere in Amsterdam and thinks that it's especially the virulence of the hate that is shocking

These are the facts.

In the Netherlands, all Jewish schools, synagogues and other Jewish installations, have been permanently protected and guarded for years. Almost half of the 577 criminal internet utterances which according to the Internet Discrimination Hotline were reported in 2009, were against Jews. And 44% of the statement also included criminal Holocaust denial, a much higher percentage than in 2008. The hotline itself doesn't investigate on the internet, but only counts the reports. If the hotline would have systematically examined Moroccan sites, it could have easily enlarged the number of antisemitic reports by a thousand.

According to a study report (April 2010) of the Stephen Roth Institute of the Tel Aviv University, the number of antisemitic statements around the world had never been as high as in 2009. In many cases they were about 'coordinated and planed attacks against Jews'. The number doubled in comparison with 2008, but increased the most in Canada and particularly in Western Europe. The leaders were the UK (tripled) and France (quadrupled), where there are the biggest Jewish communities in European, and where there are also large Muslim populations.

In France there were 195 registered incidents, but in the Netherlands, already in the first month of 2009 there were a hundred registered incidents, according to the CIDI. And the definitive data about 2009 aren't yet known. Relatively very high, if you consider that the Jewish community in France is about ten times as big as that of the Netherlands. Last Saturday the Sabbath service in the Weesp synagogue was canceled at the advice of the police, which mentioned a 'threatening report'.

Recently I spoke with about 15 students of Moroccan and Turkish origin in vocational training who all lived in Nieuw-West. "Can a Jew with a kippah walk about Nieuw-West, without being harassed or cursed?" I asked. The answer came without hesitation: "No, naturally not, man!". In recent years I asked about 40 Moroccans that, and I always got the same answer.

The majority of the second and third generation of Moroccan Dutch harbors racist standpoints about Jews which are a bit more extreme than those of the former Vlaams Blok [ed: now Vlaams Belang] about North Africans. Even with some of my Moroccan friends it's impossible to bring up Israel and 'the Jews', after that nothing sensible comes out. The Jews are all child murderers. the Jews and Americans are responsible for everything. Osama bin Laden doesn't exist. That's an invention of Bush and the CIA. The attack on the WTC on September 11, 2001 was organized and implemented by the CIA and the Mossad (the Jewish worldwide plot). Weren't all Jews who worked in the WTC on September 11th fortuitously off work? Now than.

Bloeme Evers-Emden (83), visits Sjoel West every Sabbath. She was a girl of 13 in 1939, survived the concentration camp, but lost most of her family during WWII. She can remember the anti-Jewish propaganda of the NSB, but not that Jews were ever beaten in Amsterdam. Bloeme Evers thinks it's too silly for words that Jews have to hide in our country. She is furious and combative. "That we have to deal with antisemitism again becoming socially acceptable. Jews never go out to rip off headscarves from Muslim women, than it would really be enough is enough. Than everybody would raise a hue and cry, but we have to put up with it."

These are the facts. We know it. We think it's normal, sickly normal.

Source: Paul Andersson Toussaint in NRC

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