Dutch supermarket dismisses anti-Semitism claim as misunderstanding


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Bloggers published a video on YouTube Friday showing an employee of the Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain laughing as a man wearing a kippah walks by.

The Albert Heijn chain dismissed the footage Tuesday as a misunderstanding.

The bloggers, who run the Bondgenoten YouTube channel, filmed the reactions of passersby to one of them wearing a kippah. At the supermarket near a heavily Muslim part of Utrecht, a worker laughs as the blogger walks past them. A security guard asks, “What are you doing?” The employee replies: “Mocking.”

An Albert Heijn spokesperson wrote on Twitter than “the employees shared an internal joke” before the blogger walked in. “It’s a coincidence that the filmmakers misinterpreted. Very annoying,” the spokesperson added.

Elsewhere at the same shopping center, the bloggers filmed two men shouting “cancer Jew” at them, then denying shouting it and telling them to “get lost.” In the city center, a passerby told the blogger: “Dirty homo.”

In a recent survey on anti-Semitism among 16,395 European Jews in 12 countries, the Netherlands had the highest number of respondents — 11 percent — saying they always avoid wearing a kippah in public due to safety concerns. Less than a third of Dutch respondents said they never avoid wearing a kippah, with 22 percent saying they avoid doing so frequently.

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