Dutch Socialists reject activist over anti-Semitic tweets


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The Dutch Socialist Party distanced itself from an activist for the movement after he wrote that seeing Israeli soldiers makes him “proud” of German ones during World War II.

A spokesman for the party’s branch in Castricum, a town located 13 miles west of Amsterdam, wrote last week on Twitter that Jan van der Weiden, a former Socialist Party candidate and ex-treasurer, “has for a long time been neither a member nor active for us.”

The statement followed a complaint for hate speech filed with police by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel against van der Weiden over a series of anti-Semitic statements published under his Twitter handle.

Last month, he wrote in English: “The more I see Israelian (sic) soldiers, the more proud I am on German soldiers during the Second World War.” It was one of several tweets about Jews, including one accusing them of having too much influence and another explaining the need to punish Jews for Israel’s actions. The messages were removed and the Twitter account made inaccessible.

However, van der Weiden had featured as late as last week on the website of the Castricum branch of the Socialist Party, where he was praised for helping out the branch with excellent accounting skills. The page was removed following the CIDI complaint, the Dagelijkse Standaard news website reported.

On the Socialist Party’s official Twitter account, a party spokesman said that despite the website, van der Weiden “is not a Socialist Party member, has not been a member for years and is not involved with us. His statements are not made in the party’s name, absolutely not.”

The party is among the most hostile political movements in Holland toward Israel. The Socialists support a shutdown of any military cooperation with Israel, including by making it impossible to transfer arms to Israel through Dutch airports, and back imposing a boycott on products from Israeli settlements.

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