Dutch cyber expert who said ISIS was part of Zionist plan keeping job


(JTA) — A Dutch civil servant who said ISIS was “part of a plan by Zionists” may keep her job, the country’s justice minister determined.

Minister Ard van der Steur made his decision public on Wednesday in a letter sent to the parliament about the conduct of Yasmina Haifi, a former project leader at the ministry’s National Cyber Security Center.

In the letter, van der Steur wrote that Haifi received a “suspended dismissal” and will be transferred from her former post. She will no longer be employed at the Dutch counterterrorism unit under which her former department operated, but will work elsewhere within the ministry.

Van der Steur wrote the letter to answer queries by rightist lawmakers who demanded action against Haifi.

In August, Haifi was suspended for writing on Twitter, “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name.” ISIS, or Islamic State, is a Sunni Muslim terrorist group.

Halfi has denied that she is anti-Semitic and said her tweet was targeting Israel, not Jews.

In February, a commission headed by Job Cohen, a former mayor of Amsterdam and former leader of the Dutch Labor Party, determined there were no grounds for dismissing Haifi. Following the controversy, Haifi left the Labor Party, where she had volunteered as an activist.

The committee for the Rights of Civil Workers headed by Cohen, who has Jewish roots, recommended reprimanding Haifi but determined that she was protected from dismissal by freedom of speech laws.

Vice Premier Lodewijk Asscher called Halfi’s tweet “a classic form of anti-Semitism.”

In a letter sent to friends and family in August, Haifi denied that she was anti-Semitic.

“I have always participated in activities against anti-Semitism,” she wrote. “I did not realize the load of the word Zionist/Zionism. In the Netherlands (and the rest of Europe) it equals ‘Jewish.’ I targeted the expansion policy of the State of Israel and not the Jewish people.”

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