800% rise in antisemitic incidents in the Netherlands since October 7

According to reports of antisemitism, incidents have risen over 800% in the Netherlands since the outbreak of war between Israel and the Hamas terror group.

A Dutch-Jewish watchdog reported that there has been an 800% spike in antisemitic incidents in the Netherlands since October 7, when the Hamas terrorist organisation attacked Israel, reports The Jerusalem Post.

The data only reflects incidents reported to the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI). However, it is important to note that not all incidents have been reported to the police and other anti-discrimination bureaus.

While the CIDI would not release specific incident numbers, the organisation claimed that, based on the reports it received, antisemitic incidents are 818% higher since the start of the Israel-Hamas war than its monthly average recorded over the past three years.

According to CIDI researcher and policy advisor Hans Wallage, it’s not only the numbers that have grown — the range of attacks on Jews has increased as well.

“I see way more variety of different incidents that I didn’t see before, and also more variety in the place where it happens,” Wallage said in an interview. “There are a lot of schools — elementary, high schools, universities — having way more incidents that I didn’t see before October 7.”

In one school, a Jewish boy was threatened with a knife and hit on the head with a bottle while classmates called him “kankerjood,” a Dutch slur meaning “cancer Jew.” Another boy was told that his classmates would throw him off a bridge and drown him because he was Jewish. Reports describe students being accosted for wearing Star of David necklaces, being shown the Hitler salute and being told that Hitler “didn’t finish his job.”

Wallage believes the rash of school incidents has to do with social media, which gives children unprecedentedly rapid and unchecked access to hate speech, conspiracy theories and incitement.

According to Naomi Mestrum, the director of CIDI, conspiracy theories circulating in Dutch schools follow old antisemitic tropes repackaged for a younger generation.

Outside of schools, CIDI has recorded mezuzahs torn off doors and swastikas sprayed on windows, along with frequent threats and verbal abuse. General antisemitic statements on social media are excluded from the figures unless they were specifically sent to an individual through a direct message.

Shortly after October 7, a Jewish weekly magazine in the Netherlands was flooded with calls from subscribers who didn’t want their neighbours to know they were Jewish. The magazine switched to white envelopes from clear plastic packaging.

Although it is typical for antisemitism to flare in the Netherlands during conflicts in Israel and the Palestinian territories, CIDI researchers said they have never seen a surge of incidents like this before.