(JTA) — In the wake of the desecration of a 280-year-old synagogue and other recent anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands, a Jewish group has asked the European Union to intervene.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, in a letter issued Tuesday to EU Foreign Minister Baroness Catherine Ashton, requested the EU’s "intervention to investigate the rampant epidemic in anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands," due in part to the current "political vacuum in the Netherlands following General Election."
"In addition to the synagogue desecrated with red spray-paint late last month, 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; Hyves, known as the Dutch Facebook, has postings rife with calls ‘to murder all Jews’ and for ‘Adolf Hitler to finish the job’; the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel in the Hague reported receiving phone messages calling for ‘many gas chambers to be built’; and children from the Rosh Pina Jewish elementary school were continually abused during an organized walk through south Amsterdam,’ " in recent weeks, according to the letter from Shimon Samuels, the center’s director for international relations.
Anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands reportedly grew by 64 percent in 2009, the center said. Anti-Semitism increased in the year 2009 throughout the world, according to reports.
The center urged 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.”