Dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents in the Netherlands

The number of antisemitic incidents recorded in the Netherlands reached a 10-year high of 183 cases in 2021, reports The Jerusalem Post.

According to a Dutch Jewish watchdog group, the number of antisemitic incidents recorded in the country reached a 10-year high in 2021 with a total of 183 cases. This is a 35-percent increase from the previous year, said the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI).

At least 72 of the incidents happened in “real-life”, meaning in physical spaces and not online. Of those, 21 were acts of vandalism and three were violent assaults, during one of which three men punched a Jewish man and his sister on the street in western Amsterdam. The woman was wearing traditional Jewish Orthodox clothes and had a mask with a star of David on it. According to the siblings, one of the attackers told the them “Jews don’t belong here”.

One of the incidents of vandalism involved a Rotterdam mural caricaturing of the Dutch football player Steven Berghuis, who is not Jewish but plays for Ajax, an Amsterdam team that is deemed “Jewish” by their fans and fans of rival teams. In the mural, Berghuis wears a yellow star and a kippah and has a large hooked nose. It was titled “Jews always walk away,” in an apparent reference to his transfer from the city’s team, Feyenoord, to rival Ajax.

The Netherlands is not the only country with a record number of antisemitic incidents in the year 2021; there was a major increase in antisemitic assaults in Canada as well. The significant escalation can be partly ascribed to the conspiracy theories sparked by COVID-19.