The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands has increased by 818 percent since the Hamas massacre in Israel last October 7, compared to the monthly average for the past three years.
The huge spike in anti-Semitism in the country is consistent with trends in other countries: the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium have also seen an increase in anti-Jewish incidents since the Hamas attack.
Schools in particular have seen a disturbing number of anti-Semitic displays. For example, a Jewish boy at school was threatened with a knife and hit on the head with a bottle, with the perpetrators calling the boy a “cancer Jew. An Israeli girl hears from two classmates, “If there is a cancer Jew in this school, I am going to shoot him, I don’t want that kind in school here.” Naming ‘cancer Jew’ and making Hitler salutes has taken place at several schools, as well as harassment and swearing in WhatsApp conversations and personal messages on social media.
Jewish organizations and individuals have been assailed with anti-Semitic emails and private messages such as “As to be expected from hypocritical Jews, the hospital in Gaza has been bombed. What a disgusting people you are” or “Especially with a past as Holocaust survivors, you should know better, but you are no better.” Similar incidents take place by phone, calling with regularity that Hitler should have finished his work.
”Although we saw an increase in anti-Semitic incidents during previous periods of conflict, it was never as significant as it is now. It is very worrisome that Jews in the Netherlands are held responsible for conflicts taking place in the Middle East. It seems as if Israel is being used to bash Jews. Old conspiracy theories are being recycled and are back from never happening,’’ said CID (Center of Information and Documentation Israel), a Dutch-Jewish watchdog based in The Hague.
Shortly after Oct. 7, the only Jewish weekly magazine in the Netherlands — Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad (NIW) – known in English as the Dutch Jewish Weekly — switched from its clear plastic packaging to anonymous white envelopes, according to editor-in-chief Esther Voet. She said that her staff was flooded with calls from anxious subscribers who didn’t want their neighbors to know they were Jewish.
The last episode includes a controversial cartoon published in one of the most influential left-wing newspaper, De Volkskrant. ‘’The cartoonist said on the radio that he meant CIDI with the long arm of Israel and the thick thumb when we talk about antisemitism,’’ said CIDI Director Naomi Meastrum. The title is ‘’the thick thumb on the long arm.’’ Next to the thumb: ”Everywhere a rise of antisemitism.” Down on the right its says ‘’Oh sorry, forgot to condemn Hamas first.’’ On the left it says ‘’2 solid weeks of bombing innocent ; 10,000 dead, among them 4,000 children.’’ ”The world protests,” next to it,