Monday, April 20, 2015

Netherlands: Antisemitic violence goes unreported by media

Dutch antisemitism watchdog CIDI received 6 reports in 2014 of antisemitic physical violence.  Of those, only one was reported on this blog.  As far as I can see, it was reported only by Jewish media.

1. February 3 - On a train from Sneek to Leeuwarden, a group of people ( not football fans) started singing.  At one point one started singing the Hamas song.  When he was accosted about it, he responded aggressively.  At first he did not respond physically, but when a second person told him to stop, he was punched all over.  A young woman was also punched during the fight.

2. March 27 - A man was sitting at a bar having a drink when somebody asked him "are you an idiot?".  He thought he was being asked "are you Jewish?" as it sounds similar in Dutch and so replied affirmatively. In response, he was punched in the face.  The victim did not respond and could not identify the attacker, and so did not turn to the police.

3. May 20 - Jewish person harassed for two years by the manager of a community center in Maastricht and told such things as "Jews should be gassed", "Hitler is my best friend", "Hitler forgot to pay the gas bill".  He was also physically attacked by the man.  The manager has been noted before for antisemitic behavior.

4. Mid-September - A man was attacked in Arnhem at night by a group of 7 men who heard him speak Hebrew.  they told him "Don't think that we don't know what language you're speaking", called him a 'fucking Jew' and punched him.  The man says he doesn't dare speak Hebrew outside anymore.

5. October 6 - For over five weeks, a 15-year-old was harassed by another student in his Amsterdam school.  He was called a 'Jew', 'Zionist' and so forth and told by the bully harassing him that he 'wished Hitler would have won the war'.  The harassment escalated, and during a fight between the two, the Jewish kid was stabbed with a ruler, leaving him with a 20cm wound on his tummy.  After this incident, his mother kept him home for fear for his safety, as it seemed the school had no idea how to solve the problem.  CIDI helped the mother turn to the school, who then organized a special lesson about racism given by a Jewish teacher.  Additionally, the son changed several of his classes, so he wouldn't be in the same class as the bully.

6. Throughout the year Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs was targeted in various antisemitic incidents.  He was almost run over at a gas station (October 29).  His windows were smashed three times, after which the police installed a 'panic button'.  Once when passing a school he was cursed by three girls.  The principal intervened, and they apologized.

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