“Hamas! Hamas! All Jews into the gas!”
No, these evil words were not shouted at rallies in Gaza or even among knuckle-dragging Neanderthals at neo-Nazi meetings, as one would expect. Instead, this harsh, threatening shout is to be heard on sunny afternoons in Dutch soccer stadiums whenever Feyenoord Rotterdam, where many Muslims live, plays against Amsterdam Ajax.
Before thousands of people, Rotterdam’s Muslim supporters do not hesitate to indulge in this crude act of anti-Semitism when they see the Israeli flags the Ajax fans wave to provoke them. Their primitive chant is sometimes accompanied by a malevolent hissing sound, which is supposed to represent the sound of a gas chamber.
Sixty-five years after the Nazi-occupation of the Netherlands was ended, Hitler’s crazy dream of a “judenrein” Holland may actually become reality.
Acts of verbal and physical violence against members of Holland’s 30,000-strong Jewish community are now so prevalent in the land behind the dykes that Frits Bolkestein, a former European Union commissioner and one-time leader of Holland’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), has advised his country’s Orthodox Jews, and others recognizable as “active” Jews, to emigrate to Israel or the United States.
“For them, there is no future,” Bolkestein said in an interview this month with the newspaper De Pers, blaming “the anti-Semitism among Dutchman of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing.”
And as the Muslim population increases, so do the incidents involving the Netherlands’ “raging anti-Semitism.” The German newspaper Die Welt states the Israeli Information Center in den Haag has reported a 55 per cent increase in the number of anti-Semitic offenses in the past year. Suspected unreported incidents, however, would cause this number to rise even higher.
But numbers are not able to convey the reality of living in a country where acts of Jew-hatred occur almost daily. Even the chief rabbi for the Netherlands, Binyomin Jacobs, has not been spared. Recently, Die Welt reported Jacobs had his synagogue smeared with a red substance.
More frightening perhaps have been the attacks on the rabbi’s house. The fence has been kicked in and the 61-year-old Jacobs himself was pelted with stones after running outside to investigate a bang on his window. The windows were later broken. A definite sign of the times, Jacob’s house is now under video surveillance. Holland’s chief rabbi, Die Welt further reported, has also been advised not to use public transportation in the evenings.
“Before, I was never insulted,” said Jacobs who wears the traditional Orthodox black hat and beard. “But now it is almost daily.”