Cockroach on Israeli flag counts as hate speech in Amsterdam

The court in Amsterdam ruled it is hate speech against Jews if someone carries a flag of Israel on which the blue Star of David has been replaced by a blue cockroach, reports The NL Times.

On Friday, September 23, Amsterdam court ruled it counts as hate speech to carry an Isreali flag with a blue cockroach on it on the place of the Star of David. According to the court ruling, this action does not fall under freedom of expression.

The ruling came upon an appeal from the Public Prosecution Service (OM), which filed the request after a demonstration against Israel that took place at Dam Square in Amsterdam on June 7, 2018.

One of the protesters, a 66-year old man, displayed the defiled Israeli flag with the cockroach symbol on it. He got into an argument with bystanders, and showed the flag to one of his adversary, who was a a grandchild of Holocaust victims, and this person filed a complaint.

The man with the flag was subsequently charged, but the court acquitted him last year, claiming that the flag was directed against the State of Israel and not against Jews.

Following the present court ruling, which decided that the flag was offensive to Jews, the man will have to face a conditional fine of 350 euros.

The court observation was that during World War II, many Jews were „killed in German concentration camps as if they were vermin.” The judges declared that the man could protest against the state of Israel without the flag.