by Alan Simons
In January 2011, the noted Italian author and journalist Giulio Meotti wrote an Op-Ed for Israel’s Arutz Sheva 7. He said: “Jews will flee the multicultural Netherlands before it is too late.” He added, “During last summer, a monumental tree trunk collapsed in Amsterdam. It was the old tree seen by Anne Frank, one of the most renowned Jewish victims of the Holocaust, from her hiding place. The liberal media around the world were focused on this tree to highlight the complaint of a Dutch journalist, Paul Andersson Toussaint: “Antisemitism in Holland is again salonfähig”. This word means socially acceptable. Sixty percent of Dutch Jews are ready to pack up and leave the country. The cause is a boom of Islamic antisemitism in the famous multicultural Netherlands.”
The current core Jewish population for the Netherlands is just 30,000 or 0.18% of the total population. It is estimated that 20,000 Jews live in Amsterdam.
Yesterday in the Netherlands, the Complaints Bureau for Discrimination on the Internet (MDI), a non-partisan Dutch NGO, published an alarming report. It stated that “On average MDI receives four to five complaints per week about online antisemitism. During the past two weeks alone, MDI received 122 complaints about 412 expressions of antisemitism, all related to the Israel-Gaza conflict. MDI is part of the Magenta Foundation and is co–founder of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH).
Here’s some of what the report had to say.
On both Facebook and Twitter, wishing Jews dead in a great variety of ways is currently one of the most popular expressions.
Apart from incoming complaints MDI sees a huge explosion of antisemitism on the Internet of thousands of expressions per day, mainly in the social media (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) and notes a clear shift from antisemitism under the guise of anti-Zionism to overt antisemitism. The tone is extremely aggressive and distasteful, and everything seems allowed. Jews are equated with Nazis; Jews are accused of genocide and support of “the monstrous SS-state in the Middle East;” all Jews in the world are held accountable for what is happening in Gaza; the Jews have the power, the Jews have the power over all media in the Netherlands, the Netherlands are actually Jew-controlled…the list is long. It is notable that “Jew” and “Israeli” are not only used interchangeably, but are by now synonymous with each other. On both Facebook and Twitter, wishing Jews dead in a great variety of ways is currently one of the most popular expressions.
The Facebook page ‘The Jews have to die like if you are against the Jews free Palestine’ received hundreds of likes’ and was not initially seen by Facebook as violating its rules. After pressure from MDI and others it was finally removed. The number of Dutch-language antisemitic Facebook pages runs in the hundreds, the number of antisemitic expressions has become innumerable. Regular use of fake accounts to spread hate has also become a tactic. These accounts are removed fairly quickly, but new fake accounts are easy to create.
On Twitter, the hashtag #hitlerwasright was used more than 10,000 times and became a so-called trending topic fast. The hashtag #hitlerdidnothingwrong was used nearly 3700 times. Both hashtags were used in connection with discussions on Gaza.
Where does it originate?
Sadly, the lion’s share of current online antisemitism (40 to 50%) is coming from the Dutch Muslim community. Mainly from Moroccans, but also contribution from the Turkish community is growing. A smaller share of 37% is coming from the Dutch left-wing and almost 13%, the more traditional antisemitism, comes from the far right.
Presently, MDI notes more antisemitism on the Internet than during all the previous 17 years of its existence. Well-known Dutch Jews are insulted, threatened and demonized.
In online discussions, Dutch Jews who do not distance themselves (or not enough) from Israel are immediately held responsible for murder and genocide. Only Jews who are anti-Israel are “good Jews.” These “good Jews” live outside of Israel and don’t support Israel. “Bad Jews” are “Zionists” and should (therefore) be killed.
Expressions that were recently carried on banners and signs during pro-Gaza demonstrations were already to be seen on the Internet from the beginning of the conflict in Gaza. Regardless of generic antisemitism, well-known Dutch Jews are insulted, threatened and demonized.
It is interesting to note that while the Jews in the Netherlands are held responsible for what is happening in Gaza, Chinese in the Netherlands are never addressed on the occupation of Tibet and neither are Dutch Syrians on the atrocities of the Assad regime.
Silence of politicians and authorities
It is very worrying that the role the Internet plays in the spread of antisemitism is exacerbated by the silence on the part of politicians and authorities. The Hague Mayor, Jozias Van Aartsen does not speak out since he believes that calls to kill Jews during a recent demonstration in his city did not exceed any boundaries. Public Prosecutor Wouter Bos takes this wackiness to new heights by stating that the expression “Death to the Jews” is part of the public debate.
The general atmosphere is that one does not need to act or speak out against calls (both during demonstrations and on the Internet) to kill Jews. This gives license for even more antisemitism and incitement to violence, which in France, being the most glaring example, has already led to pogrom-like situations.
And [today] in the Netherlands, the number of threats, antisemitic graffiti and other incidents are increasing.
(Photo credits: antisemitism-europe.blogspot.ca | CIDI)
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SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”
Thank God there’s an Israel!
بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل
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