THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — A Dutch hotelier apologized for canceling the reservation of an Israeli family over Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Mart Muis, who last week canceled the reservation of the Natzitz family from Kiryat Ono, Israel, at his bed & breakfast in Waterland, near Amsterdam, said he had “a moment of insanity” when he sent the email canceling the reservation, the Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad weekly reported.
Muis wrote he canceled the reservation, which was booked through the Israeli tour operator Sababa, “primarily because every day I get angrier and angrier when I see and read how much suffering and death and loss Israel is causing in Gaza. As long as this disproportionate violence of Israel continues, I will not accept guests from Israel.”
Discrimination on basis of nationality is illegal in the Netherlands.
Contacted by NIW, Muis expressed regret for the incident offered to host the Natzitz family for free. He added that he suffers from panic attacks and has hardly left his home since 2008.
“It is absolutely irrational, he said. “I am deeply ashamed that I ruined their vacation.”
Neta Natzitz said the cancellation did not seem impulsive.
“At first I heard the owner wanted to cancel the reservation because he feared our flight would be canceled,” she said. “The next day he canceled altogether because of the violence in Gaza.”
Elise Friedmann, a senior researcher at the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a Dutch watchdog on anti-Semitism, told NIW the family should file a complaint with police. The family told NIW they have not yet decided on whether to do this.