BERLIN – The mushrooming number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands in 2009 – a 48 percent increase over 2008 – may be “just the tip of the iceberg,” Ronny Naftaniel, the head of The Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, said on Thursday.

Many anti-Semitic incidents are not reported, Naftaniel said in a statement.

According to Dutch police statistics, the 48% increase represented 209 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2009.

That accounted for 9.4% of discrimination- based incidents in the Netherlands, although Jews constitute only 0.3% of the country’s 16.6 million people.

In 2008, the police registered 141 anti-Semitic incidents. Anti-gay attacks rose 13% in 2009 when compared to the previous year, and amounted to 35% of all discrimination-based incidents.

There were 428 anti-homosexual incidents in 2009; in 2008, 308 incidents were registered.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel said in its statement that “In January 2009 alone, CIDI – an independent watchdog organization – documented 98 attacks against Jews. This figure included nine physical assaults. The remaining incidents were threats and hate speech.

“During the whole of 2009, CIDI documented 167 anti-Semitic incidents – constituting an increase of 55% compared to CIDI’s 2008 report. Out of these, 35 were serious incidents, involving violent attacks or threats of violence, damaging synagogues and monuments and anti-Semitic graffiti of Jewish- owned buildings.”

The rise in attacks prompted human rights groups to urge the Dutch government to take action.

“CIDI and the gay rights organization COC called on the upcoming government of the Netherlands – whose makeup is being determined in coalition talks following a recent election – to address the growing anti-gay and anti- Jewish trends apparent in the report,” CIDI noted in its statement.

Dutch observers say that the Netherlands’ 1 million Muslims (about 5% of the population), largely from Morocco, coupled with anti-Israel leftists have contributed to a hostile climate for Jews in the Netherlands.

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