Dutch government makes fight against antisemitism a national priority

The government previously has not budgeted a lump sum for fighting anti-Semitism, only for specific issues connected to it such as security at Jewish institutions.

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA
June 1, 2019 09:02
1 minute read.
Dutch mounted police patrol in central Rotterdam ahead of the Europa League soccer match between Fey

Dutch mounted police patrol in central Rotterdam ahead of the Europa League soccer match between Feyenoord and AS Roma in Rotterdam, February 26, 2015. Supporters of Rotterdam soccer team Feyenoord went on a drunken rampage in Rome's historic centre before a Europa League match against AS Roma last . (photo credit: YVES HERMAN/REUTERS)

The Dutch government has allocated $3.35 million toward fighting antisemitism — the first time Holland has placed the fight on its list of national priorities.

The funding, earmarked earlier this week during budget talks among members of the ruling coalition, establishes the fight against antisemitism as a key point demanding government attention alongside education, immigrant integration and five additional issues.

Sought by the Christian Union Party, the move follows intensive coverage in the Dutch media of Jews’ fear of harassment and violence, mostly from immigrants from Arab or Muslim countries or their descendants.

The government previously has not budgeted a lump sum for fighting antisemitism, only for specific issues connected to it such as security at Jewish institutions.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Dutch parliament in the Hague to protest antisemitism.

The demonstration, titled “Kippah On,” followed the warning given last week by the German government’s antisemitism envoy, Felix Klein, against wearing kippahs in public. It was organized by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, CIDI, a Jewish community watchdog group.

Among the senior politicians who showed up wearing a kippah was Thierry Baudet, leader of the right-wing Forum of Democracy party, and Frits Bolkestein, a former defense minister for the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.

Earlier this month, CIDI launched a website devoted to monitoring antisemitism on Dam Square in Amsterdam, a memorial for the victims of World War II, where in recent years promoters of a boycott against Israel have faced off with supporters of Israel.

In a recent incident from April, a well-known boycott promoter, Robert-Willem van Norren, was filmed saying at Dam, “White Jews killed tens of thousands of people.”


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