Wiesenthal Centre to EU Foreign Minister Ashton: “Contain Netherlands Antisemitic Epidemic or It Will Metastasize Throughout the Continent”

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE - EUROPE
66 rue Laugier - 75017 Paris
Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401
e-mail: csweurope@gmail.com


Paris, 15 June 2010


In a letter to European Union Foreign Minister, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, explained that “due to the current political vacuum in the Netherlands following General Election, we are requesting your intervention to investigate the rampant epidemic in antisemitic incidents in that country.”

The letter noted that “despite the iconic story of Dutch righteous gentiles hiding Anne Frank and her family, their eventual denunciation and deportation highlighted the irony that a higher percentage of Dutch Jews perished in the Holocaust than in any other country in Western Europe.”

Samuels stressed that “once again, the 40,000 Jews of the Netherlands are the target of hatemail, graffiti and physical assault – incidents reportedly growing by 64% in 2009.

Photo: The Synagogue of the Jewish Community Amersfoort smeared with red paint

According to Dutch media, many of the perpetrators are native-born of Moroccan origin, turned on by Jihadist websites, to play a Middle East version of “cowboys and Indians” in which they are “Palestinians” targeting the nearest local Jew.”

He pointed out that “once, antisemitic slogans in Holland were heard only from the football terraces, especially in games featuring the Feyenoord Club of Rotterdam.
Now such epithets as “Kankerjood” ((Jew cancer), “Hitler let one get away”, even “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas” have become commonplace.”

The Centre presented a partial list of recent incidents including:

“-a commemoration ceremony for the last transport of 3,000 Jewish children deported to their death, was disrupted by passing bikers shouting ‘Heil Hitler’ during the mourners’ Kaddish prayer; -children, from the Rosh Pina Jewish elementary school, were continually abused during an organized walk through south Amsterdam; -the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), in the Hague, reported receiving phone messages calling for ‘many gas chambers
to be built’;


-the largest Netherlands internet social network , Hyves - known as the Dutch Facebook, with over nine million members – has postings rife with calls ‘to murder all Jews’ and for ‘Adolf Hitler to finish the job’; -only yesterday, the 280 year old synagogue of Amersfoort was desecrated with blood red spray paint.”

Samuels emphasized that “this apparent collapse of the culture of tolerance in the Netherlands will not leave Europe behind.”

The Centre urged Baroness Ashton “to condemn such incidents and the climate they portend, to take measures to investigate their origin and to impress upon the, as yet, unformed new Dutch government, its responsibilities to the entire European Union to contain a scourge that will not end with the Jews.”

“It will metastasize throughout the continent”, concluded Samuels.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For further information contact Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.