Article of Likud in the Netherlands, published on Israel News Online, December 14, 2017.
On December 7, a Palestinian asylum seeker attacked an Amsterdam kosher restaurant.
He smashed the windows, kicked in the door and took down the Israeli flag, screaming “Allah Akbar.” The video of the attack went viral all over the world.
The owner of the restaurant was obviously shocked. There was a wave of horror and fear going through the Dutch Jewish community.
However, to the astonishment of many in the Jewish community, the perpetrator was quickly released.
He is likely to get away with a light penalty, because the Dutch Justice Department limited the accusation to “vandalism and theft” only, which will be handled in a low-level procedure.
That is quite remarkable, as this attack was against private Jewish property, therefore the Jewish community as such. It should be treated as an anti-Semitic hate crime or terror attack.
The Jewish community is already dealing with aggression on a regular basis.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte should have known better. Instead he gave the restaurant owner a compliment by saying he “seemed apparently undisturbed by the attack.”
Unfortunately, the prime minister did not realize the reason for this: namely that Jews who are recognizable as such and owners of Jewish businesses are already accustomed to being insulted and spat on.
However, the prime minister did acknowledge the severity of the terror attack, calling it “totally unacceptable” and “really terrible.”
Such a remark makes the likelihood of a minor punishment even more remarkable.
For example, someone who threw a small candlelight holder to the Royal Carriage in 2010 was punished with five months’ imprisonment.
And last year, the perpetrators of an amateurish attempt of arson on a mosque – throwing a bottle of fuel to its wall – even got four years in prison.
So this comes down to a double standard: just as with the attack on the mosque, it should be made very clear that violence against people based on their religion is unacceptable.
It is worth noting that anti-Semitic aggression and violence are on the rise in the Netherlands and across Europe. Imported Arab antisemitism is becoming a very real problem. A worldwide survey of antisemitism by the Anti-Defamation League showed that 74% of the people in the Middle East and North-Africa hold anti-Semitic views (Palestinians 93%), against, for instance, 5% of Dutch citizens.
Last week was a black week for Jews in Europe.
In Malmö, Sweden, people shouted, “We will shoot the Jews.” In Goteborg, also in Sweden, firebombs were hurled at two synagogues. In London and Vienna, people yelled: “Khaybar Khaybar, oh you Jews! Soon Muhammad’s army will return” (in remembrance of Muhammad, who massacred the Jews of the Khaybar oasis).
Jews in Europe routinely endure Kristallnacht-style experiences similar to those which occurred in the 1930s. Jews are insulted and abused on the streets, and synagogues and Jewish businesses are attacked.
This is unacceptable for the Jewish community, and it should be for the Dutch government as well.
This has to be stopped, and a harsh punishment should certainly be part of anti-Jewish violence prevention.
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