Dutch watchdog reports 23 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — A Dutch Jewish watchdog group reported a 23 percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents last year in the Netherlands from 2012.

The Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, recorded 147 anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands in 2013 compared to 114 in the previous year. CIDI’s annual report was released Tuesday.

Verbal assaults on Jews that involved a direct exchange rose to 21 from 14.

“CIDI finds the increase all the more disconcerting because it is partly caused by frequent confrontations between victims and perpetrators,” CIDI wrote in statement.

Three incidents involved direct physical violence and one case featured threats of violence.

The report noted a late 2012 incident recorded in January that involved an assault on a man riding a scooter in Delft whom the perpetrator thought was Jewish.

“I’m Iraqi and I hate Jews,” he told the victim, according to the CIDI report.

In another incident, in June, a resident of an old-age home in Rotterdam performed a Nazi salute to another resident and told her he was friends with Adolf Hitler. He added, “They forgot to gas you.” Then he grabbed her Star of David pendant, pulled her near and bit her in front of witnesses.

The incident was reported to police and the perpetrator apologized.

Anti-Semitic incidents at school increased to 11 from five. Incidents that involved disputes between neighbors remained at eight. Vandalism against Jewish sites or objects accounted for two incidents.

Fifty-seven incidents involved Twitter messages that CIDI saw as anti-Semitic and violated laws against incitement to hatred or violence.

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