The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) reported an alarming increase in antisemitism in the Netherlands since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
According to CIDI, the number of incidents since the violence started in Israel on October 7 is now 818 percent higher than the monthly average of the past three years.
“There is a disturbing number of antisemitic expressions, especially in schools,” CIDI said. It mentioned examples of a Jewish boy being threatened with a knife and an Israeli girl being threatened by classmates. The slur “cancer Jew” and the Hitler salute have also happened at several schools. Jewish organizations and individuals are bombarded with antisemitic messages and emails.
“The figures only include reports that meet the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Criticism of Israel is not included in the figures. General antisemitic statements on social media are also not included,” CIDI said.
“These are alarming figures, unfortunately in line with what we are seeing elsewhere in Europe. The aim of the October 7 attacks was to drive a wedge in society. We must not allow ourselves to be divided, and we must do everything we can to reduce antisemitism,” said Eddo Verdoner, the government’s coordinator for tackling anti-Semitism (NCAB).
Veddoner noted that antisemitic incidents are increasing far faster when compared to other spikes in fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups. He believes the issue is related to the rapid spread of information, commentary, and misinformation over social media. “Images reach society as a whole even faster, more directly and unfiltered, also on the mobile phones of 9- and 10-year-old children. This continues into the offline world, also on the schoolyard and in the classroom.” Veddoner said.
“I hear compelling stories from adults and children who are harassed and reviled because of their Jewish identity. That is unacceptable.”
“Although we saw an increase in the number of antisemitic incidents during previous conflict periods, it has never been as significant as now,” CIDI said. “It is very worrying that Jews in the Netherlands are held responsible for conflicts taking place in the Middle East. It seems as if Israel is being used to beat Jews. Time-honored conspiracy theories are being recycled and are back with a vengeance.”