Anti Semitism in Holland

Holland has a good wrap. People from my Moshav visited Holland and came back real enthusiastic. In general I am being approached positively when people hear I am from Holland. They think that the Dutch have been helping a lot of Jews during World War 2. That’s nice but I don’t really like it because it is simply not true. Overall, although there were a lot of Dutch hiding Jews, taking in children and otherwise fighting in the resistance, and many are honored in Yad Vashem, it was by no means enough to justify the common shared memory that most of Holland was in the resistance.

When I was in my twenties and waiting with an Israeli friend at a bus stop in my hometown, we were approached by an old man who heard us speak English and wanted to know where we were from. My friend said Israel and the old man started to cry and explain to her that he had been fighting in the resistance, lost a lot of friends only to see the very people he was fighting against in the government, who were collaborating with the Germans, staying on after the war in their cushy jobs, not having to explain themselves or getting punished.

Fact is that in Holland, the largest percentage of Jews were taken to the death camps. Anne frank is the pride of many Dutch although she was betrayed and died horribly. The Municipally of Amsterdam hired students to clean up their archives and shred, amongst others, documents showing that the few survivors from the death camps that managed to make their way back, were slapped with a huge bill for taxes on their property, water and electricity bills for the time they had spend  in the death camps. If not for the courageous student who decided to go public with this, no one would have know.

The modern anti Semitism in Holland is also getting worse. Although in the country side town where I am from it is less noticeable, simply because there is a very small Jewish community and people in that area are more subdued and calm. My daughter had a Moroccan Muslim best friend for her play dates and my other daughter sometimes a Turkish Muslim play date at which the sweetest mother with an amazing smile, sort of kidnapped me into her house, fed me wonderful  cookies and Turkish delights, and we ended up spending the entire play date talking about… well.. everything.  It is not a town with a lot of extremities. Although I did get shocked because of the friendly couple that approached me whilst waiting at the kindergarten for my daughters. They looked around them first, to see if no one was watching or paying attention and then leaned over to me to tell me they really liked and supported Israel. The fact that for them it had to be a secret, was quite telling. You can only guess at how many barbeque parties and birthdays it took them to realize that Israel was not a quiet diner conversation.

I found myself on a hate site recently of Dutch Muslim supporters of Palestine. I wanted to report posts on that page because they were very anti Semite. The amount of hatred and bile spat out was mindboggling. It looks like operation Protective Edge has opened up the gates and released the anti Semite monster that lingered in so many hearts all this time. They have managed to organize a demonstration to support !! SUPPORT the intifada !! Really ?? Supporting the killing of parents in front of their kids, ramming your car into unsuspecting citizens and then butchering them with a machete, pulling a 13 year old from his bike and stabbing him… the list is endless. You really do SUPPORT that??? What the heck happened to Holland?? What the heck happened to Europe??

The Dutch were present at that demonstration as well, with self-righteous faces and all. Holding up signs, wearing those checkered scarf’s ( I really start to resent those.. ) Supporting an intifada that they couldn’t even grasp if they tried. Shame on you.!!!!

And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did…. the Muslim hater Youness Quaali has a face book page on which he rants about the scarcely clad Dutch woman during summertime and how they evoke rape and so on. Your typical fanatic Islamic crap pouring out of an obnoxious spoiled  Moslem who is abusing his rights in Holland to threaten those of others. It would have been utterly pathetic if he didn’t have that many likes. Just a day or so ago he called upon the  Dutch society to go and beat Israeli’s to a pulp ( he did manage to exclude children.. how  kind )  because: ” Who doesn’t wants to listen, should be feeling. Enough is enough. ” Low and behold he got invited, no, not arrested for incitement which actually IS forbidden by law in Holland, no he got his ass INVITED to a discussion program on TV were he had ample time to downplay his remarks, and the impact of those incite full lines and overall getting, very respectfully of course, a lot of understanding for his point of view, cause this is what Holland is all about after all: You talk it out: reasonable like and calmly. Palaver, palaver, palaver. And this fanatic Muslim hater got all the opportunity to make his point.

I remember another hater: Geert Wilders. He made inciting remarks on the Islam and found himself in court. He defended himself by saying that those remarks weren’t actually meant to incite, just to ” test ” the Dutch society and evoke a discussion on the subject. Nice evasive cowardly explanation of his ugly incitement. That Youness Quaali was using the exact same excuse on the program.. coincidence ? I am sure not. And all the while, as the Dutch stumble over each other to find excuses for extremities for as far as they are made against Jews or Israel, those nasty haters are secretly laughing and trying to play everyone, so full of themselves and the security that the blanket of anti Semitism provides for them, that they are not even trying to hide it or make much of an effort.

I like Holland, I love Israel more, but I am really Dutch. Practical, blunt, self-sufficient and logical. I long at times for the fresh smell of nature after a day of rain, the possibility to visit friends and family whenever and wherever, my bicycle ( Oh how I miss going everywhere on my bicycle),  the changing of seasons, the grazy windows with open curtains for every passerby to see the holes in your socks and noses being picked….  But ( and of course there is a but.. ) I really really worry about Holland, about the rise of anti Semitism, of the eagerness of many to look the other way, to mind your own business to not get involved… that  was really catastrophic not so long ago….  I sincerely hope that Holland won’t lose their moral compass yet again with only a few to uphold  the stubborn Dutch tradition of being a safe haven for those with different  opinions and religions. I really wouldn’t want to see Holland and Europe gliding into that Abyss  again..

About the Author
Jolanda Turgeman is married and has three kids ( 6, 7 and 9 years ). She is not Jewish but her husband is. Together they lived in Holland for some 8 years through our marriage before deciding to move to Israel. Love for Israel first hand from a newbie with no historical ties to this magical country.
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