Friday, 2 Dec 2022 - 8 of Kislev, 5783

The man who smashed the windows of a Jewish restaurant in Amsterdam is a 31-year-old Syrian

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The Centraal Joods Overleg (CJO), an umbrella body for Jewish organisations in the Netherlands, said in a statement that this new act ‘’is a grim reminder that 75 years after the liberation anti-Semitism is still very much alive”.

“Five incidents in two years are no longer a coincidence, no confusion, no arbitrary vandalism. We can’t look away anymore,” it said.

 

The man who smashed the windows of a Jewish restaurant in Amsterdam is a 31-year-old Syrian migrant. He was arrested on Friday after smashing the windows of  the HaCarmel kosher restaurant, the second time he has done so.

Saleh Ali was subdued with pepper spray by officers after he used a metal pipe to smash the windows of the kosher restaurant while holding a lighter in the other hand which which he attempted to light an Israeli flag.

Because the restaurant was closed due to the coronavirus crisis, no one was present at the time of the destruction in the restaurant located on the Amstelveenseweg. A suspicious package was found outside the restaurant’s door early this year but ultimately it turned out to be a false alarm.

In 2017, Ali smashed HaCarmel’s windows with a wooden club while waving a Palestinian flag. He stole an Israeli flag hanging there. Police officers stood by as he vandalized the place but arrested him when he came out. The man was convicted of vandalism after 52 days behind bars while awaiting trial, but he was released without further penalty.

The Centraal Joods Overleg (CJO), an umbrella body for Jewish organisations in the Netherlands, said in a statement that this new act ‘’is a grim reminder that 75 years after the liberation anti-Semitism is still very much alive”.

“Five incidents in two years are no longer a coincidence, no confusion, no arbitrary vandalism. We can’t look away anymore,” it said.

The group called on the municipality of Amsterdam and the government to condemn this matter as an act of pure anti-Semitism. “Acknowledge it, that is the first step in combating it,’’ it said.

Last January, the Israel Information and Documentation Center (CIDI) announced that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands had risen again in the past year. In 2018, CIDI registered 135 anti-Semitic incidents and 182 in 2019.CIDI director Hanna Luden spoke of a “worrying increase” as the municipality of Amsterdam, the police and the judiciary declared that they want to take stronger action against anti-Semitism.

Earlier this week, the country’s King, Willem-Alexander, in a speech at an annual ceremony in Amsterdam for Dutch victims of armed conflicts during and after WWWII, acknowledged his great-grandmother’s perceived indifference to the fate of Dutch Jews during the Holocaust.

Queen Wilhelmina, who abdicated in 1948, referenced the persecution of Jews only three times in 48 radio speeches made during her exile in the United Kingdom — all in general terms and after mentioning other cruelties visited on the general population.

75% of the prewar population of the Netherlands were murdered by the Nazis and their local collaborators.

 

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