Jewish Group Says anti-Semitic Incidents in Holland Up by 64%

Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel says Dutch public aware of rise in anti-Semitism.

Cnaan Liphshiz
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Cnaan Liphshiz

Anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands have leapt by 64 percent last year, according a report by a veteran Jewish non-profit organization.

In its report, released on Thursday, the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel lists 261 cases of non-physical anti-Semitic attacks - compared to 159 in 2005.

The report, which covers all of 2006 and the first four months of 2007, listed eight cases of violent anti-Semitic attacks and seven cases of "violent behavior." The organization's director, Dr. Ronny Naftaniel, told Haaretz yesterday that most of the incidents recorded occurred on the streets of Amsterdam.

"Some cases involved shouting and insults at people wearing a skull-cap," Naftaniel said. "Other attacks came via e-mail. Many Jewish organizations and some private persons received hate mail last year."

The report lists the Second Lebanon War as a possible cause for the attacks. "The research focused only on unmistakably anti-Semitic incidents and remarks," the report says. According to the document, criticism of Israel was not included in the report.

"We did not include severe critisism on the Israeli policies, but when Jewish organizations' mail accused them of acting like Nazis because of Israel's actions, then we considered these mails to be anti-Semitic," Naftaniel said.

He added that though anti-Semitism was on the rise, there were hardly any violent incidents in the Netherlands.

An opinion poll that CIDI recently commissioned and included in the report suggests the Dutch public is aware of the alleged rise in anti-Semitic incidents. The survey, which was conducted by the Amsterdam branch of the global market research firm Synovate, showed 91 percent of the 1,250 participants thought anti-Semtism has increased or stayed stagnant in the past five years.

Only nine percent said anti-Semitism has decreased since 2002.

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