Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, chief rabbi of the Inter Provincial Chief Rabbinate (IPOR) and President of the Rabbinical Counsel for The Netherlands, claimed that the latest idea to combat anti-Semitism would fail unless it was accompanied by a greater emphasis on education amongst the Dutch public.
“The main problem relating to anti-Semitism is the lack of education,” Rabbi Jacobs said. “Today, there are many schools which simply skip the lessons relating to World War II and the Holocaust.
“This is because many teachers and principals fear a negative reaction from pupils who are from Muslim backgrounds, but it is too easy to blame the Muslim community, when I witness that also Dutch non-Muslim youngsters are shouting at me when I am in the street.”
The police initiative is to dress up as Jews to catch those who are causing anti-Semitic attacks.
Anti-Semitism is rising in Holland, according to statistics compiled by organizations like the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a Holland-based anti-Semitism monitoring organization. The Jewish communities are being verbally and physically attacked and confronted with Nazi slogans.
“However, as bad as anti-Semitism in Holland has become I would also like to stress that there many Dutch people who openly sympathize with the Jewish people,” rabbi Jacobs said. “When red paint was recently spread over the door to my Synagogue in Amersfoot, many non-Jews came to help clean off the paint.”
According to the statistics, the majority of the attacks are being committed by Muslim immigrants to Holland. There are almost a million Muslims living in Holland today.
“All new police initiatives are welcome. However, there needs to be far more investment in education of values and against hate crimes likes anti-Semitism,” Rabbi Jacobs continued. “My recommendation would be for Dutch National and/or Local Government to organize Rabbis or volunteers from the Jewish Community to visit schools for the students, even young children, can meet and talk to us. I believe this would undoubtedly have a great effect.”
Rabbi Jacobs himself recently witnessed unidentified persons shouting Nazi slogans during a memorial service for Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Rabbi Jacobs is a member of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE), an organization dedicated to meeting the religious and spiritual needs of Jewish communities in Europe.