Tag: NETHERLANDS

IN EUROPE, “WIDESPREAD” ANTISEMITISM & POSSIBLE CORBYN GOVERNMENT THREATEN ISRAEL AND JEWS

Corbyn to Use his Power to Harm Israel – Be Ready: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2018— Imagine that in considering its responses to Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, or Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels in northern Israel, or Hamas’s rocket barrages into southern Israel, Israel was required to take British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s positions into account.

Widespread Anti-Semitism in the Netherlands: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 19, 2018— A recent survey revealed a slew of data on Dutch Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism in their country.

The Canary in the French Mine: Amir Taheri, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2018— Normally, this time of the year, the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris has a festive air with Christmas decorations and happy shoppers looking for last minute presents.

Rescuing The Jews Of Denmark: Rhona Lewis, Jewish Press, Dec. 24, 2018— In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, there is no way to go on pretending that right-wing anti-Semitism isn’t alive and still presents a deadly threat to Jews

On Topic Links

Pop Islam: How Germany is Tackling the New Islamic Antisemitism: Daniel Rickenbacher, Fathom, Dec. 2018

Survey Showing Persistent Antisemitism in Europe a Grave Warning for Canada, B’nai Brith Says: Daniel Koren, B’nai Brith Canada, Dec. 10, 2018

Anti-Semitism in Europe Today Comes Mostly from the Left: Fiamma Nirenstein, JCPA, 2018

Political Divisions in Germany Have Implications for the Middle East: Noah Phillips, BESA, Dec. 3, 2018

 

CORBYN TO USE HIS POWER TO HARM ISRAEL – BE READY

Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2018

Imagine that in considering its responses to Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, or Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels in northern Israel, or Hamas’s rocket barrages into southern Israel, Israel was required to take British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s positions into account. How would Corbyn’s leadership of Britain – the US’s closest ally and Israel’s largest trading partner in Europe – affect Israel’s maneuver room?

Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s far-from-resounding victory in the no-confidence vote her Conservative Party colleagues conducted against her, this question needs to be considered urgently. May’s victory Wednesday did not stabilize the political situation in Britain. The fact that 117 Conservative lawmakers voted to unseat her, and the fact that May felt compelled to commit not to seek reelection in 2022, showed how tenuous her grip on power is today.

Whether the government falls over the Brexit vote in March, or limps into the 2022 elections, one thing is clear enough: The Tories’ divisions work to Labour’s advantage. The weaker and more incompetent the Conservatives appear, and the more incoherent their governing ethos becomes, the stronger and more competent Corbyn and his Labour Party will look and the more compelling its message will become. As a consequence, the time has come for Israel to take a long, hard look at the implications for Israel of a Corbyn government.

Generally speaking, most of the conversations about the implications of a Corbyn government revolve around the fate of British Jewry. And this makes sense. Over the summer, pollsters found that nearly 40% of British Jews will consider emigrating if Corbyn becomes prime minister. It is certainly reasonable to assume that if and when Corbyn becomes prime minister, there will be a wave of British aliyah unprecedented in scale. And Israel must prepare for their arrival, just as it must prepare for the arrival of tens of thousands of Jews from France, Germany and Belgium.

But the prospect of mass migration of Jews out of Britain in response to Corbyn’s rise to power is but one aspect of the overall and entirely negative impact a Corbyn government will have on Israel. Britain isn’t Turkey. Britain is a global power and a key player not only in Europe, but throughout the world. It is America’s closest ally and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. With Turkey, Israel took a major hit and continues to suffer the aftershocks of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s transformation of Turkey from a key strategic ally of Israel’s into a large and rapidly expanding threat to the Jewish state. Yet for all the damage Erdogan has caused and continues to cause Israel, the hit Israel took with him is nothing compared to hits it will take from Britain if and when Corbyn forms a government.

First of all, there is the issue of Israel’s bilateral ties to Britain. Last month, Liam Fox, Britain’s secretary for international trade, visited Israel to conduct negotiations toward a post-Brexit bilateral free trade deal with Israel. Britain is Israel’s largest European trading partner. Trade between the two countries has increased massively over the past several years. Last year bilateral trade stood at $9 billion. In the first half of 2018, British exports to Israel increased 75% over the same period in 2017. All of this will be jeopardized if and when Corbyn comes to power. In a speech in 2015, Corbyn expressed support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. In his words, “I think the boycott campaign, divestment campaign, is part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.”

He added, “I believe that sanctions against Israel, because of its breach of the trade agreement, are the appropriate way of promoting the peace process.” At the Labour Party conference in September, Corbyn pledged to recognize “Palestine” as soon as he forms a government. The economic hit that Israel is liable to take from reduced trade with Britain is dwarfed by the blow a Corbyn government will cast on its military and intelligence interests.

At the Labour Party conference, Labour members voted in favor of a motion to ban military sales to Israel. The measure didn’t come out of nowhere. Corbyn speaks frequently about banning such sales. This past April, shortly after the Hamas regime in Gaza initiated its operations against Israel along the border wall separating Gaza from Israel, Corbyn called for a review of British arms sales to Israel and attacked Israel’s efforts to keep the rioters from overrunning its territory as “illegal and inhuman.” He referred to the Palestinian rioters as “unarmed Palestinian demonstrators.”

He also called on the May government to support an “independent and transparent” UN investigation of the border clashes. From 2015 through 2017, UK weapons sales to Israel totaled $445 million. Much of Britain’s arms exports are not stand-alone systems. Rather, they are components in larger US platforms. For instance, 15% of the F-35 is made by British firms BAE and Rolls Royce. Components of F-16s and drones are likewise produced in Britain. Does Israel have a ready alternative supplier to replace the British if and when Corbyn takes over?

Then there is the issue of intelligence cooperation. There are contradictory indications in everything related to intelligence cooperation between Israel and Britain. On the one hand, British and Israeli intelligence officials have acknowledged close cooperation between their agencies. On the other hand, documents published by Edward Snowden exposed widespread British espionage against Israel. Israeli targets exposed by the Snowden documents include Israeli diplomatic personnel in key African countries, MASHAV-Israel’s agency for international development, Israeli scientific research centers, particularly at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and defense firms.

There is nothing surprising about Britain’s spying. Britain has traditionally had a love-hate relationship with Israel, where it cooperates with Israel at the same time it undercuts it. And yet, for all of Britain’s two-facedness, there is still a difference between an untrustworthy ally that knows your intelligence capabilities and operations and a hostile power having that information. This is doubly true in Corbyn’s case given his pronounced support and friendship for Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and Russia.

Corbyn’s most powerful adviser is his communications guru Seumas Milne. Milne, who served in the past as opinion editor at The Guardian, is ferociously anti-Israel. Among other things, Milne has argued that Israel has no right to defend itself, and that Palestinian terrorism is justified. Officials in Jerusalem see his relationship with Corbyn as a sign that if and when Corbyn rises to power, diplomatic relations between the two countries will effectively end. And ending Britain’s ties with Israel is just the tip of the iceberg. The UK is a global power. The first place his impact will be felt is among members of the British Commonwealth, particularly Australia and Canada.

In Australia’s case, this week most of the discussion relating to Australian-Israel relations revolved around the dispute brewing between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government on the one side and Australia’s foreign policy establishment on the other. Morrison and his colleagues wish to recognize that Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem. The foreign policy establishment opposes the move vociferously…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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WIDESPREAD ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE NETHERLANDS                                                                Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Dec. 19, 2018

A recent survey revealed a slew of data on Dutch Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism in their country. The study was carried out by the TV program, EenVandaag, with the assistance of the Jewish umbrella organization, CJO and the Jewish Social Organization (JMW).

Due to the fact that the interviewees were mainly selected among those who belong or are known to Jewish organizations the figures in the study are not statistically representative. Organized Jewry does not include more than 30% of those who selfidentify as Jews in the Netherlands. As far as relative data are concerned, the survey provides however important indications of the widespread anti-Semitism in the Netherlands. Mentioning the numbers found shows thus mainly the relative importance of issues.

In 2015 during his parliamentary campaign, Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Liberals) said that the Netherlands was an “incredibly marvelous” country. Such hyperbole is easily disproven when looking at the experiences of Jews in the Netherlands. The survey’s findings provide an unpleasant perspective on the Dutch reality. Seventy-seven percent of Jews interviewed said that antisemitic sentiment is rife in the Netherlands. When asked where these anti-Jewish sentiments appear, 82% responded “social media”.  Fifty-nine percent referred to the media, i.e., many of the Dutch TV stations and leading newspapers.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said that anti-Semitism manifests itself in the streets and 42% in politics.  Although respondents were not asked to identify which political parties promote anti-Semitism, it is evident that the prime promoter is a small Muslim party, Denk, which holds 3 seats out of 150 in the Lower House of the Parliament. In 2017, CIDI (The Center for Information and Documentation about Israel) has accused Denk of anti-Semitism in parliamentary questions and remarks.

The Dutch parliament recently voted in favor of a motion to recommend use of the definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The proposal was opposed by Denk, Labor, (PvdA) and the left socialist party (SP). Furthermore also by the left liberal D66 party, which is a member of the government coalition as well as the uniquely Dutch phenomenon, The Party for the Animals.

The survey also asked participants to identify who is responsible for the anti-Jewish sentiment. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents saw education as the culprit, 71% blamed the media, and 65% believed that multiculturalism in the Netherlands is at fault. The latter can best be translated as “part of the Dutch Muslims.” The Muslim population accounts for approximately 6% of the about 17 million Dutch citizens. Forty-seven percent of respondents blamed the schools for anti-Semitism and 40% saw the political system as a culprit.

Frequent efforts are made, mainly by the Dutch left, to claim that anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism are different phenomena. After the Holocaust many people consider anti-Semitism not to be politically correct. Thus anti-Semitism often morphs into anti-Israelism, which does not carry the same stigma. Yet many claims against Israel and how the country is singled out are clear mutations of antisemitic motifs. One can easily identify anti-Semitism when Israel is criticized for acts while other nations with similar behavior are not blamed. The definition of anti-Semitism of the IHRA which required approval in its Board of all the 32 member countries – including the Netherlands – states that this singling out is an explicit example of anti-Semitism.

Dutch Jews are often reluctant to publicly mention the problems of Islamization. Dutch historian Els van Diggele who spent a year interviewing people in the Palestinian territories wrote a book, We hate each other more than the Jews. Referring to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict she says: “The picture I obtained from conversations with cooperative Palestinians is greatly different from what we have been told during the past fifty years by the State News Service NOS and the major Dutch newspapers.”

The findings of the survey also show the overlap of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Respondents were asked what antisemitic experiences they have encountered. 89% answered that they have dealt with reproaches about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How can one make, if one is a honest person, such a reproach against a Dutch Jew who has never been a citizen of Israel, and who has no voting rights there? If one were to interview Italians living in the Netherlands at the time of the Berlusconi government, how many of them would have heard reproaches about what was going on in Italy? Italians abroad have voting rights in Italy but few if any at all would have been confronted in this manner. Other antisemitic experiences mentioned include: 86% heard stereotypes about Jews, 71% were subjected to nasty remarks about Jews in general, 51% experienced nasty remarks about Jews in the Second World War, 34% had been insulted because they are Jews and 11% have experienced violence because they are Jews. In the recently published study on European anti-Semitism by the Fundamental Rights Agency, the overwhelming majority of Dutch Jewish interviewees said that anti-Semitism in the country has increased in the last five years…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]     Contents

   

THE CANARY IN THE FRENCH MINE

Amir Taheri

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2018

Normally, this time of the year, the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris has a festive air with Christmas decorations and happy shoppers looking for last minute presents. This season, however, what the French like to boast about as “the most beautiful avenue in the world” looks more like a war zone. The reason is the phenomenon labeled “les gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests”, a movement that started as a protest against an increase in the price of diesel and quickly galumphed towards an all-out attack on the French political system. At first glance one might say: we have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt! Setting fire to parked cars and city dustbins, shattering shop windows and looting stores are old tactics of French protest movements, as witnessed on numerous occasions, most recently 2003 and 2005. However, the current uprising, now in its sixth week, is different from previous protests for a number of reasons.

The first is that the “yellow vests” started not in Paris but in the provinces. That in itself is quite new. Ever since it emerged as nation-state in the 14th century, France has always been a Paris-centered polity. The great revolution of 1789 started in the capital, as did its miniaturized successors in 1830 and 1848. The Paris Commune of 1871 was, as its name indicates, also a Parisian affair. The protests that led to the emergence of the Popular Front in 1936 was also the work of Parisian elites. Finally, the last great French insurrection, known as the May 1968 revolution, was also centered on the capital.

The second difference is that, unlike previous revolutionary and/or insurrectionary episodes, the “yellow vests” movement, mobilizing around 130,000 activists in 11 cities throughout the nation, has an unexpectedly small socio-political base, a fact camouflaged by the energy devoted to destructive activities. Because of its basically provincial persona, the movement reminds one of the old French tradition of rural revolts known as “jacqueries“, first launched in 1380, in which poor peasants cast themselves as bandits to fight, and rob, their feudal barons. Like historical “jacqueries,” the current “yellow vest” campaign is capable of inflicting much economic damage but is unable to offer an alternative vision of society.

The third difference is that it comes in the context of a society in which, for the first time in history, a majority of people could be regarded as privileged, at least in relative terms. A nation that had lived through almost four centuries of intermittent wars, including two world wars and half a dozen colonial wars, has been at peace for an unprecedented six decades. France today is one of the richest nations in the world with perhaps the most generous welfare system anywhere. It has the world’s shortest work week, longest annual holidays, earliest retirement age, and some of the best education and health facilities in history. The French today are better fed, better housed, better clothed and better entertained than any time in their history. They are also in better health and live a staggering 20 years longer than they did at the start of their Fifth Republic. Also worth noting is that France is perhaps the only country in the world where scores of small and medium-sized towns and cities have virtually all the facilities of a modern metropolis. Yet, opinion polls show that almost two-thirds of the French have some sympathy with the “yellow vests”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

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RESCUING THE JEWS OF DENMARK

Rhona Lewis                                                         

Jewish Press, Dec. 24, 2018

It was 1943. Inge Sulzbacher and her twin sister were five years old. Members of the Danish resistance helped them escape the Nazi round-up in Copenhagen by huddling them underdeck in a fishing boat crossing the choppy Øresund Strait to Sweden. Shulamit Kahn wasn’t quite seven. “Some memories are etched into your mind and you never forget them,” says Shulamit. The Danish resistance movement, along with many ordinary Danish citizens, managed to evacuate 7,220 of Denmark’s 7,800 Jews. It was the largest action of collective resistance in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. And we haven’t forgotten it.

Jewish history in Denmark dates back to 1622 when King Christian IV sent a message to the leaders of the Sephardi community in Amsterdam and Hamburg inviting Jews to settle in the township of Gluckstadt. Jews who accepted this invitation began trading and manufacturing operations there. The King built the famous Round Tower, an astronomical observatory, on which the letters yud keh vav keh can be clearly seen, to show his recognition of their contributions. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Jews from Eastern Europe continued arriving and settled in Copenhagen where they enjoyed a warm welcome.

Gittel Davidson, whose father was a member of the Machzikei Hadas Shul founded in 1910, shares a memory: “During the First World War, when no lulavim were available, my grandfather paid the curators of the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens to be allowed to pick lulavim from the palms in the hot house for tropical plants,” she says.

This idyllic stability was rocked on April 9, 1940, when Nazi Germany invaded Denmark. With little choice, the Danish government surrendered and Denmark became a “model protectorate.” Model meant that some sort of quasi-cordial relationship was maintained. While Germany sent 22,000 officials to occupied France, a mere 89 officials were sent to Denmark. During the early years of the occupation, Danish officials repeatedly insisted to the German occupation authorities that there was no “Jewish problem” in Denmark.

The Germans looked the other way for several reasons. They recognized that further discussion was a possibly explosive issue, one that had the potential to destroy the “model” relationship. In addition, the Reich relied substantially on Danish agriculture, meat and butter. Despite this leeway, resistance to German rule bubbled strongly in Denmark. In the summer of 1943, when it seemed that the war was going against the Reich, members of the Danish resistance became bolder. The Germans hit back. In August, they presented the Danish government with new demands to end resistance activities. The Danish government refused to meet the new demands and resigned. That same day, the Germans took direct control of administration and declared martial law. Plans for the arrest and deportation of Danish Jewry got underway… and were foiled from the inside.

German naval attaché Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, leaked word of the planned deportation to Hans Hedtoft, chairman of the Danish Social Democratic Party. Hedtoft contacted the Danish Resistance Movement and the head of the Jewish community, C.B. Henriques. Henriques alerted the acting chief rabbi, Dr. Marcus Melchior. On September 29, erev Rosh Hashana, during Selichos, Jews were warned by Rabbi Melchior of the planned German action and urged to go into hiding immediately. The word spread. The Danish Underground and regular citizens – intellectuals, priests, policemen, doctors, blue-color workers – worked together to track down Jews and find ways to hide them. Some simply contacted friends and asked them to go through telephone books and warn those with Jewish-sounding names to go into hiding. It was a national refutation of Nazi Germany and a reaffirmation of democratic and humanistic values…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

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On Topic Links

Pop Islam: How Germany is Tackling the New Islamic Antisemitism: Daniel Rickenbacher, Fathom, Dec. 2018—Several incidents in 2018 have highlighted the problem of Islamic antisemitism in Germany. In April, a Syrian immigrant attacked a young Israeli wearing a kippa in Berlin.

Survey Showing Persistent Antisemitism in Europe a Grave Warning for Canada, B’nai Brith Says: Daniel Koren, B’nai Brith Canada, Dec. 10, 2018—A major survey of Jews in Europe has painted a harrowing account of what it’s like to be Jewish in the European Diaspora.

Anti-Semitism in Europe Today Comes Mostly from the Left: Fiamma Nirenstein, JCPA, 2018—Against all odds, after only 70 years since the Holocaust’s massacre of six million Jews, including two million children on European soil, anti-Semitism is dramatically on the rise in thought, rhetoric, and deed.

Political Divisions in Germany Have Implications for the Middle East: Noah Phillips, BESA, Dec. 3, 2018—Announced in the wake of a Bavarian regional election that saw immense losses for the centrist German bloc, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned resignation in 2021 marks the conclusion of a unique era of bipartisanship in Germany.

Manfred Gerstenfeld: The Dutch Anti-Israel Incitement Continues to Expand

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago, a story concerning the Netherlands gained international attention: the Holocaust and old-age pensions of a very elderly Dutch citizen were greatly reduced by the Dutch authorities because she had taken residence outside the Green Line. After much public protest and after having received substantial negative publicity, the Dutch authorities remedied her specific case.[1] The discrimination concerning old age pensions for those living in the territories, however, has been confirmed by the Dutch government.[2]

 

Not surprisingly, the next Dutch Israel-related scandal has now emerged. A history textbook that greatly distorts the history of Israel’s War of Independence, and at the same time, minimizes the long-term pre-1948 terrorism campaign of the Arabs,[3] is being used as part of the Dutch high school curriculum. Menachem Begin is called a terrorist, and Arafat is not.[4]

 

After a rather belated critical editorial on the issue of the Holocaust survivor’s pension cuts was published in The Jerusalem Post,[5] Dutch ambassador Caspar Veldkamp had his response published in the same daily.[6] It has to be pointed out that this ambassador has made great efforts to improve relations between the Netherlands and Israel, and the same goes for the other current Dutch embassy staff I have met with over the years. The embassy’s very positive attitude, however, is far from representative for the Netherlands.

 

There was, however, a particular remark in the Dutch ambassador’s article which one should not let pass without comment. He wrote that the Netherlands is a country which can still be considered one of Israel’s best friends.

 

In this context, however, the word “friend” is misplaced. Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, of the anti-Israel Dutch Labor Party, is one of the eighteen EU foreign ministers who want to label products from the Israeli settlements as being of non-Israeli origin.[7] There are twelve EU foreign ministers who are not of that opinion.  Koenders has not taken any steps, however, to have products from Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus labelled as such, when northern Cyprus is occupied territory, and whereas the West Bank is disputed territory.[8]

 

Koenders’ predecessor, Frans Timmermans, also of the Labor party, admitted during a 2013 lecture in Tel Aviv that in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the European Union applies double standards against Israel, because it considers it to be a European country.[9] This claim implied that one cannot consider Palestinians and Arabs to be Europeans. Double standards are a key characteristic of anti-Semitic acts.[10] Timmermans’ remark reminds one of colonial racists who considered non-European people as inferior and as having less responsibility for their actions. Timmermans’ claim also goes against the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that all people are endowed with reason and conscience. That means that they are responsible for their acts.[11]

 

Whoever looks at the website of the Dutch Labor party can see that while it attacks Israel, it remains silent about the Islamo-Nazism of the largest Palestinian faction, Hamas, and about the many other criminal acts perpetrated by Palestinians. In this way, the Labor party is an indirect supporter of Islamo-Nazism.[12]

 

In a private meeting with another Dutch ambassador who was visiting Israel a few weeks ago, I said that the Netherlands had committed state anti-Semitism by indiscriminately allowing a million Muslim immigrants to enter the country. This happened in spite of the fact that it is generally known that these Muslims originate from countries that are far more anti-Semitic than the Netherlands.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the Netherlands during the summer of 2014 was equal to the total number of incidents in 2011-2012. Esther Voet, at the time the director of CIDI, a Dutch pro-Israel organization, estimated that two-thirds of these crimes were perpetrated by non-Western immigrants or their descendants. This was a euphemistic reference to Muslim immigrants, who represent about 6% of the population.[13]

 

If a country allows massive and almost indiscriminate immigration from other countries which have far more anti-Semites among their populations, it will subsequently see its domestic anti-Semitism increase. This can be seen as state-sponsored anti-Semitism. This simple reasoning was too complex an idea for the visiting Dutch ambassador to accept.

 

The 2011 study of the University of Bielefeld for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation asked citizens of seven EU countries, aged 16 years and older, whether they agreed with the statement that Israel was exterminating the Palestinians.[14] The Netherlands and Italy came out somewhat less anti-Semitic than the other countries, with about 38% agreeing with the statement. 

 

If one unjustifiably attributes extreme criminal acts to a certain people innocent of such, it means that one has a criminal mindset. After the findings of the German study, one can conclude that five million Dutch are in that category. 

 

Thus, rather than saying that the Netherlands are among those countries that are friendly to Israel, one should state that the Netherlands are among the less hostile in an increasingly criminal Europe.

 

In 2010, I published a book in Dutch titled, The Decay. Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands,[15] where I stated that one could see the moral decline of the Netherlands over the past decades by analyzing its attitude toward the Jews. The book received substantial public attention and even led to a debate in the Dutch parliament on anti-Semitism.

 

This was due to a particular paragraph within the book in which I quoted a remark made by former Dutch Euro-commissioner Frits Bolkestein. He had told me that Jews should realize that there is no future for them in the Netherlands, and that they should advise their children to immigrate to the United States or Israel. This was due, according to Bolkestein, to the problems he foresaw with unintegrated Muslim immigrants.[16]

 

Femke Halsema, the leader of another anti-Israel Dutch party, the Green Left, reacted, saying that Bolkestein was “crackers”.[17] Whoever reads my 2010 book today knows that Bolkestein was right as far as the increasingly bleak future for Jews in the Netherlands is concerned. Beyond that, even more than its attitude toward the Jews, the Netherland’s attitude toward Israel has become an indication of the moral degradation of Dutch society. Developments over the past few years are a clear indication of such. One does not have to be a prophet to forecast that both the environment for Jews and the anti-Israeli incitement in the Netherlands will get worse.

         



[1] “Geen korting AOW holocaustoverlevende”, de Telegraaf, 27 May 2015.

[2] Mike Durand, “Vraagtekens bij SGP en CU na beantwoording AOW-vragen,” CIDI 29 May 2015.

[3] “Ophef in Israël over Nederlands schoolbook,” Reformatorisch Dagblad, 27 May 2015.

[4] Elise Friedman, “Schoolboekje onevenwichtig over Israel,” CIDI, 27 May 2015.

[5] Herb Keinon, “Netherlands to publish new policy on pension payments to citizens living in settlements,” The Jerusalem Post, 11 May 2015.

[6] Caspar Veldkamp, “The Dutch Care about Their Holocaust Survivors,” The Jerusalem Post, 21 May 2015.

[7] “Koenders zet etikettering weer op agenda”, Telegraaf, 20 November 2014.

[8] Eugene Kontorovich, “How the EU directly funds settlements in occupied territory,” Jerusalem Post, 28 December 2013.

[9]  Herb Keinon, “Dutch FM: Europe judges Israel by a different standard than other Middle East countries”, The Jerusalem Post, 10 December 2013.

[10] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Double Standards for Israel, Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, 7 January 2013.

[12] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “de PvdA: Nederlands grootste wegkijkerspartij van genocideplannen”, De Dagelijkse Standaard, 19 November 2014.

[13] Naama Lansky, “Sakana Berura Umijadit,” Israel Hayom, August 22, 2014. (Hebrew)

[14] library.fes.de/pdf-files/do/07908-20110311.pdf.

[15] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Het Verval, Joden in een Stuurloos Nederland (Amsterdam: Van Praag, 2010), 164-173. (Dutch)

[16] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Het Verval, Joden in een Stuurloos Nederland (Amsterdam:

Van Praag, 2010), 109.

[17] “Felle kritiek op joden-uitspraak Bolkestein”, Trouw, 6 December 2010.

 

 

 

 

Manfred Gesrtenfeld: The Netherlands: A country which refuses to admit its guilt toward the Jews

May 4 is National Memorial Day in the Netherlands. Originally, it was a remembrance day for the murdered and fallen during Germany’s occupation. In the past few years, the issue of memorializing the dead has been partly diluted and stripped of its significance. In several local memorial meetings, Jews are not mentioned specifically, even if they comprised the majority of local victims.

 

In 2012 at the national commemoration in Amsterdam, a 15-year-old boy was invited by the organizers to read a poem in memory of his relative after whom he was named, who had joined the SS. This was ultimately canceled, with great difficulty. Several Dutch towns also commemorate fallen German soldiers on May 4. After the small town of Geffen wanted to inscribe the names of its murdered Jews together with those of fallen Germans on its war memorial, relatives of the Jews protested. It was then decided to leave all names off the monument.

 

The above cannot be viewed as unrelated to the consistent Dutch refusal to admit the disinterest of the Dutch wartime government and Queen Wilhelmina in exile in London regarding the fate of Dutch Jews. The same goes for the massive collaboration of Dutch bureaucracy with the Germans in the occupied Netherlands.

 

However much the Dutch try to avoid it, this behavior is not forgotten. In February this year, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, wrote a letter to Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher. The text focused on his request that the Dutch government investigate what caused almost 39 percent of the current Dutch adult population to accept the huge lie that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians.

 

Rabbi Cooper also wrote that it had been brought to his attention “that the Netherlands has neither admitted the negligence of its World War II government and the collaboration of the bureaucracy with German occupiers, nor offered any apologies. I believe the Netherlands is the only occupied country during the war where this is the case.” In his reply to the rabbi, Minister Asscher ignored this issue entirely.

 

The last time this topic got major attention in Dutch public opinion was when the Dutch daily De Pers devoted a front-page article to it. The article was based on two interviews from the appendix of my book Judging the Netherlands: The Renewed Holocaust Restitution Process 1997-2000. Two former Dutch deputy prime ministers, Els Borst – who was murdered earlier this year – and Gerrit Zalm, declared that they would publicly support the government if it offered apologies to the Jewish community.

 

That same day, parliamentarians Geert Wilders and Raymond de Roon posed parliamentary questions to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. They asked him why the Netherlands would not offer apologies to the Jewish community for the country’s misconduct toward the Jews during the Holocaust. Thereafter, the Associated Press published two articles on this issue which were picked up by hundreds of media outlets all over the world.

 

Rutte got away with an entirely irrelevant reply. He referred to a Dutch government declaration from the year 2000. However, the apologies offered to the Jewish community then were unrelated to the war period, but referred to the formalistic, bureaucratic and heartless post-war restitution process. Even those apologies were only half-truths, as they claimed that this unacceptable attitude had not been intentional.

 

There were, however, many documented cases in which Dutch policy toward the Jews was quite deliberate. At the time it was already known that the post-war finance minister had preferred the interests of the stock market brokers who collaborated heavily with German occupiers, above those of the original Jewish owners of stolen securities.

 

Since then, a variety of other intentional examples of post-war misconduct toward the Jews have become known. The most recent is that the Amsterdam Municipality charged and fined Jews for non-payment of their wartime long-lease debts accrued during the Second World War. Their homes had been expropriated for use by Germans and Dutch Nazi collaborators. A few years ago it had already become known that Jewish survivors in Amsterdam were forced to pay gas and electricity bills accrued for their expropriated homes, after they returned from German camps or hiding.

 

Recently, art historian Professor Rudi Ekkart gave another example of deliberate post-war discrimination by Dutch authorities. At the beginning of this century, he headed a government commission which investigated the restitution of stolen artwork which had been returned by the American occupation authorities in Germany. He said that the Finance Ministry wanted to sell as much of the art as possible for the benefit of the Dutch Treasury.

 

They were opposed by directors of museums and the Education, Art and Science Ministry, which considered this “a good occasion to build a better national art collection.”

Ekkart added, “The voices of those who were entitled to them –former owners and their heirs – were not heard.”

 

Can all these shortcomings be explained by the Dutch national character? This is too hasty a conclusion. In 2005, then-president of Dutch Railways Aad Veenman offered apologies to the Dutch Jewish community for the collaboration of his firm with the Germans in the transport of Jews on the first leg of the journey to their deaths.

 

The railways organized a major publicity campaign detailing what had happened during the war. It was a very good example – by international standards too – of how one can deal with a difficult past.

 

The Dutch government can continue to ignore the misconduct of its predecessors during the Second World War. However, it would be mistaken to think that the failure to admit guilt and offer apologies will soon be forgotten.

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld is the emeritus chairman of the

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (2000-2012) and a CIJR Academic Fellow

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld: Has The Netherlands Gone Mad On Jewish Issues?

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld: Has The Netherlands Gone Mad On Jewish Issues?

Manfred Gerstenfeld 

Tundra Tabloids, Apr. 5, 2013

http://www.tundratabloids.com/2013/04/dr-manfred-gerstenfeld-has-the-netherlands-gone-mad-on-jewish-issues.html

 

One has to wonder…….

 

HAS THE NETHERLANDS GONE MAD ON JEWISH ISSUES?

 

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. On the English language web the issue got far more attention. Thereupon the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte asking him to investigate anti-Semitism in the Netherlands.  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.

 

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. 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.  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.