The issue, then, is not just coming from Middle Eastern politics but also the tensions within Dutch society and how Muslim immigrants and their children interpret their problems. Endlessly told that the Jews are their enemy and that they control society in some way, it is easy to conclude that the Jews might also be behind the harassment or discrimination Muslims face, absurd as this is on a factual level and in countries where the Jewish population is tiny.
Here is how one observer recounted on this issue:
As a journalist I roamed the streets around high schools in Amsterdam the day after 9/11 to catch the ‘sound of the streets.’ I was totally unprepared for all the anti-Semitic remarks uttered by [Muslim] boys of 11 to 16 years. Later I spoke with teachers who told me this was an ongoing thing.
I also interviewed a Moroccan in a high position. He said two things that struck me: “Since the beginning of TV transmissions in Morocco the news start with news about Palestine. You in the Netherlands will never understand the degree with which Moroccans identify with Palestine.”
“My Moroccan friends [in the Netherlands] among teachers and intellectuals agree Israel has a right to exist, but we can never say that in public because we would lose the backing of our Moroccan [community].”
Elma Drayer is a liberal Dutch columnist and former editor of the prestigious newspaper Trouw , writing on its site. She’s also Jewish. In an article, “The Taboo Against Antisemitism has Disappeared,” she expresses shock that nobody else seems to be shocked by a recent television program, on the Netherlands 2 station, in which a group of young Muslims, whose roots are in Turkey, are inter- viewed by a researcher. (Incidentally, in Dutch discussions the Turks are considered the relative moderates compared to the supposedly more radical immigrants from Morocco.)
Only CIDI, the Jewish community’s lobbying group, noted the program, asking the minister of education in an open letter to undertake a national survey of anti- Semitic prejudice among high school students.
Drayer concludes (translation done for me): “For exactly 80 years after the greatest Jew hater of all time began, the taboo has disappeared.”
There’s a lot of evidence for this ranging from the chief rabbi’s conclusion that there was no future for Jews in the Netherlands to the wild ovations received from packed audiences for an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic film among Turkish immigrant audiences in the Netherlands.
Then, too, there’s the 2012, investigation by Lisa Nederveen in her Master’s thesis.
On the video, the well-intentioned interviewer tries to get the young people to tone down their criticism, a tactic which in itself shows the problem. He implies that it’s okay to kill just Jewish men. The young people disagree. He later says that many Jews disagree with Israel, implying that it is okay to kill Israelis and pro-Israel Jews. That’s still too moderate for them.
What particularly fascinates me is the young man’s quotation from Hitler. Where did he hear it? I don’t know precisely but I’ve read it repeatedly in Islamist propaganda. I’ll bet it came from there and not from neo-Nazi literature.
By knowing about Gypsies and disabled people, the boy shows clearly that he is by no means ignorant about the Nazi era, perhaps the result of instruction in school.
And, of course, completely apart from the Shoah, the Netherlands itself suffered greatly from Nazism. If genocide against the Jews was insufficient to make these young people dislike Hitler, you’d expect that some sense of Dutch patriotism might do so. Of course, that doesn’t happen.
Here’s the bottom line: Given the fact that this hatred is endemic among Dutch Muslims; and given the fact that their proportion and influence in the country is increasing; and given the fact that there are literally no countervailing forces, is this viewpoint going to increase or decrease? Obviously, the former.
Even in the Dutch mass media there are shocking things written on a regular basis about Jews and Israel. If one cannot depend on the Netherlands to defeat this trend, there’s nobody who’s going to do better.
Originally published at Rubin Reports.
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
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