Dutch MP: I Never Heard Gaza Protesters Shouting 'Jews to the Gas'

Parliamentarian Harry van Bommel accused of incitement to hate, violence and discrimination against Jews.

A Dutch parliamentarian who attended a recent anti-Israel demonstration was accused Wednesday of incitement to hate, violence and discrimination against Jews.

MP Harry van Bommel attended a January 3 Amsterdam demonstration where protesters shouted, "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas," leading to a complaint to the Dutch justice ministry from attorney Bram Moskowicz.

Van Bommel told Haaretz he did not hear the calls, and that he'd have left had he heard them.

"I was in front with a loudspeaker," he said. "They're saying people in the back shouted these things, but I never heard them."

He was filmed at the event shouting "intifada" and "free Palestine." In a video posted online before the complaint, van Bommel's voice is heard as people in the background shout in Dutch: "Hamas, Hamas, Joden aan het gas."

The protest was against Israel's Gaza invasion, in which nearly 1,000 people have been killed.

The longtime Israel critic from the Socialist Party told Haaretz that by calling for intifada he meant "non-violent resistance like in the first intifada, with strikes and civic disobedience to occupation."

Moskowicz, a prominent attorney, cited the 1999 conviction of a rightist MP for incitement after attending a demonstration where the crowd called, "Our own people come first," in his complaint.

The affair has caused van Bommel to cancel his attendance at a memorial for the victims of Auschwitz on January 25, "due to threats to disrupt the event." The organizers announced yesterday he is nonetheless welcome to attend.