AMSTERDAM — A Dutch Jewish man said he suffered sustained anti-Semitic abuse after he posed in his yard holding an Israeli flag.
The 47-year-old executive, who works as an account manager, said the abuse occurred in the city of Almere, 24 kilometres east of Amsterdam, on Monday. Passers-by saw him holding the flag for the photo with a schoolbag slung over its pole to celebrate his son’s graduation from high school.
Across the Netherlands, it is customary for graduates’ families to hang schoolbags from the pole of the Dutch flag and other flags they affix to exterior walls for the duration of graduation week. The account manager told the Post Online that he removed the Israeli flag after taking a picture of it with his son.
But several motorists who saw the flag circled the Jewish family’s home while honking and shouting anti-Semitic slogans, said the man, who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity.
He said among the insults heard outside the house were ”Rotten Jews, we’re going to get you,” “cancer Zionists” and “rotten Zionists.” The man said he filed a complaint about the incident with the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, a Hague-based watchdog on anti-Semitism, and also intends to report it to the police.
“The worst of it is that I didn’t even want the flag to fly very long because I know how sensitive the issue is,” the account manager said. “But even for just a few minutes, just to put up a flag for a photo is no longer possible.”
The man said he had decided not to put up a mezuzah on his door frame for fear of abuse.
“You have to wonder if doing so is wise,” he said about the mezuzah. “People in Amsterdam say they have once again taken off the mezuzah so their windows won’t be smashed.”
Earlier this month, several high school students in the town of Schijndel, 112 kilometres southeast of Amsterdam, sang about burning Jews during their graduation ceremony, the Brabants Dagblad daily reported.
As they approached the graduation gala of Elde College, the students sang: “Together we’ll burn Jews, because Jews burn the best.”