Anti-Semitism in the Netherlands Manfred Gerstenfeld



One has to wonder…….

Mad Hatter dutch government


Manfred Gerstenfeld  

In February the Dutch national media “forgot” to report on a mainstream TV broadcast in which a number of Dutch Turkish youngsters praised Hitler, the Holocaust and the killing of Jewish babies.[1] On the English language web the issue got far more attention.[2] Thereupon the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte asking him to investigate anti-Semitism in the Netherlands.[3] This letter finally started a debate in the media and parliament. In the meantime the interviewer of the youngsters, himself a Dutchman of Turkish descent, had to go into hiding after receiving death threats.[4]

The reply of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s letter has now been published. Rutte writes that the statements by the youngsters were “shocking and reprehensible.” He promises a detailed series of action and investigations.[5] It would be important for the Simon Wiesenthal Center to check back later this year and examine which of the Prime Minister’s promises have materialized. Over the past few years, there have been three discussions held on anti-Semitism in the Dutch Parliament. They have however, hardly led to any concrete results in the battle against the country’s anti-Semitism.

Negative news coming out of the Netherlands which has impacted upon Jews has continued in the past few weeks. The municipality of the village of Bronckhorst has decided that its official delegation on National Memorial Day this 4th of May, will also honor fallen soldiers of Nazi Germany who are buried in the village, in addition to the Dutch dead during the Second World War. Last year, a judge prevented this, but a Higher Court has since lifted the prohibition.[6]

A new report prepared for the Anne Frank Foundation showed that complaints about severe anti-Semitic acts received by police have increased from 19 in 2010, to 30 in 2011. The total number of complaints about anti-Semitic incidents has remained about the same at 2,700. This large number of complaints is but a fraction of what goes on, as many people do not report to the monitoring organizations.[7]

MDI, an organization which tracks discrimination on Dutch internet sites found that in 2012, anti-Semitism/Holocaust denial was again by far the chief category of internet hate at 28 percent. It is followed by expressions of hatred of Muslims at 19%. This is against a background where the Muslim population in the Netherlands is around 1 million – at least 20 times the number of Jews. MDI concludes that contemporary anti-Semitism has been mainstreamed in the Netherlands. MDI also reported that the Dutch government has eliminated funding for them claiming that this was due to budget considerations.[8]

Last month, Parliamentarian Dion Graus of the Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders put forward a motion to forbid all ritual slaughter, whether stunned or not. There is no majority support for this position, yet it is another indication of the Dutch obsession with animal rights, which can be contrasted with the “benign” neglect of the country’s anti-Semitism problems.[9]

It has now become known, more than 65 years after the Second World War, that the city of Amsterdam fined hundreds of Jewish Holocaust survivors for tax avoidance when they were held in concentration camps or hiding from the Nazis.[10]

All this comes against a background in which the Dutch government has consistently refused to apologize for the failure of the Dutch government in exile in London during the Second World War to meet its responsibilities toward its persecuted Dutch Jewish population. Almost all other European governments have since apologized or admitted guilt for the conduct of their authorities under Germany’s occupation.

As far as Israel is concerned, the Dutch government wants to pass legislation which will impose labeling on all products from the disputed West Bank territories. No such law has been proposed for the Turkish occupation in part of Cyprus and the parts of the Sahara occupied by Morocco.[11]

The leader of the second largest Dutch party Diederik Samsom attacked Israel at his party’s first congress on the Middle East. He said that Israel transgresses international law. Samsom “forgot” to mention that the Netherlands itself doesn’t obey international law. [12] Despite it being a signatory of the U.N Convention on Genocide, it has not tried to bring Iran before an international court.

If the Dutch government is indeed finally committed to act against anti-Semitism, it will first have to investigate its sources and nature in great detail. Particular emphasis should be placed on the Muslim population, as there are many indications that anti-Semitism there is far wider spread and has more severe expressions than within the autochthonous population.

Additionally, all of this must be seen in the context of the extreme demonization of Israel. Almost 39% of the Dutch population believes that Israel intends to exterminate the Palestinians. These data have been concealed by the Dutch media.[13] Any investigation into anti-Semitism in the Netherlands should also examine how this diabolical viewpoint has been arrived at, and who exactly ascribes to it.


[1] Elma Drayer, “Het taboe op Jodenhaat is verdwenen”, Trouw, 28 February 2013. [Dutch]

[2] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Dutch press tries to hide anti-Semitic incident”, Jerusalem Post, 17 March 2013.

[3] Letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, USA,  to the Honorable Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, 6 February 2013.

[4] “Asscher praat met bedreigde jongerenwerker”, Telegraaf, 14 March 2013. [Dutch]

[5] Letter from Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, to the Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles, USA, 19 March 2013.

[6] “Bronckhorst loopt mee langs Duits graf,” Reformatorisch Dagblad,  27 March 2013. [Dutch]

[7] “Meer ‘zware’ antisemitische incidenten gemeld”, Volkskrant, 28 March 2013. [Dutch]

[8] Website of Dutch Complaints Bureau of Discrimation on the Internet  (Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet)

[10] Cheryl K. Chumley, “Amsterdam taxed, fined Holocaust Jews in hiding – and in Nazi camps”, Washington Times, 2 April 2013.

[11] Jurre Plantinga, “Timmermans laat zich voor karretje anti-Israel lobbyisten spannen,” Trouw, 12 March 2013. [Dutch]

[12] Afsluitende speech Diederik Samsom – Midden-Oosten debat PvdA te Zwolle, 2 March 2013. [Dutch]

[13] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Nederlands Duivelse visie op Israel, Dagelijkse Standaard, 6 March 2013. [Dutch]

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