Dutch lawmakers mull extra protection for Israeli tourists


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Senior lawmakers for the Netherlands’ ruling party suggested beefing up security for Israeli tourists following a threat.

Han ten Broeke and Sjoerd Potters of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy made the suggestion in a parliamentary query they filed Thursday with the kingdom’s minister for foreign affairs and his counterpart in charge of social affairs and employment.

The query followed the publication on Facebook of a call to “smite down” Israeli tourists published by Younnes Ouaali, a café owner and a representative of the Dutch aid group World Wide Relief, as revenge for perceived attacks on Palestinians by Israel.

“What travel advice does the Israeli government employ for the Netherlands?” the lawmakers asked the ministers. “Are you planning to take extra measures for the protection of Israeli tourists?”

The ministers have two weeks to reply. The lawmakers also asked whether Ouaali’s statement will have repercussions for World Wide Relief – an international aid group active in several countries. The organization, whose website contains a map in which the territory of Israel is labeled as “Palestine,” was unreachable for comment.

On Thursday, during a guest appearance on popular talk show Pauw en Witteman, Younnes defended as nonviolent his suggestion to hit Israelis.

“I am not the issue. The terrorist state of Israel is,” he said. Ouaali said on the show that a police complaint filed against him for incitement by CIDI, a pro-Israel Dutch group, “is like having Hitler file a complaint.”

Esther Voet, a former director of CIDI and editor-in-chief of the Dutch Jewish NIW weekly, accused the television show of “moral bankruptcy” in inviting Ouaali and “giving Jew-hatred a podium.”

Ten Broek noted on Twitter that the presenter and panel “continuously and correctly referred” Ouaali to incitement in his message.

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