Dutch government makes fight against anti-Semitism a national priority


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The Dutch government has allocated $3.35 million toward fighting anti-Semitism — the first time Holland has placed the fight on its list of national priorities.

The funding, earmarked earlier this week during budget talks among members of the ruling coalition, establishes the fight against anti-Semitism as a key point demanding government attention alongside education, immigrant integration and five additional issues.

Sought by the Christian Union Party, the move follows intensive coverage in the Dutch media of Jews’ fear of harassment and violence, mostly from immigrants from Arab or Muslim countries or their descendants.

The government previously has not budgeted a lump sum for fighting anti-Semitism, only for specific issues connected to it such as security at Jewish institutions.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Dutch parliament in the Hague to protest anti-Semitism.

The demonstration, titled “Kippah On,” followed the warning given last week by the German government’s anti-Semitism envoy, Felix Klein, against wearing kippahs in public. It was organized by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, CIDI, a Jewish community watchdog group.

Among the senior politicians who showed up wearing a kippah was Thierry Baudet, leader of the right-wing Forum of Democracy party, and Frits Bolkestein, a former defense minister for the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.

Earlier this month, CIDI launched a website devoted to monitoring anti-Semitism on Dam Square in Amsterdam, a memorial for the victims of World War II, where in recent years promoters of a boycott against Israel have faced off with supporters of Israel.

In a recent incident from April, a well-known boycott promoter, Robert-Willem van Norren, was filmed saying at Dam, “White Jews killed tens of thousands of people.”

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