Watchdog: 25 percent of Dutch online hate speech complaints concern anti-Semitism


THE HAGUE (JTA) — More than 25 percent of complaints to an online hate speech watchdog in the Netherlands last year concerned anti-Semitism.   

This figure appeared in a report last month by Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet, which monitors racism and racial incitement on the Internet in the Netherlands. 

MDI said 26 percent of the 943 complaints it registered in 2012 were about anti-Semitic content, and that these were the largest block of complaints.

Of the total complaints, 421 could form the basis for an indictment under Netherlands law, according to MDI.

Jews constitute 0.25 percent of the population of the Netherlands.

MDI, a division of the anti-racism nonprofit Magenta, noted in its report that hate speech increasingly took the form of incitement to violence.

MDI itself submitted 18 police complaints over various hate speech cases. Ten of those complaints concerned material that appeared on Twitter. 

In January 2012, the hashtag “the Jews are going to die” (“#JodenGaanEraan”) was for a period the most popular on Dutch Twitter.

The source of the hashtag was a soccer match between rival clubs Rotterdam and Ajax from Amsterdam. Fans of Ajax, associated with a historically Jewish district, have over the years embraced Jewish and Israeli symbols. Fans of rival teams taunt them with anti-Semitic slurs.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a watchdog on anti-Semitism, has said in a statement it is working with MDI to help authorities better combat online incitement. 

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