Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center has expressed its shock that protests in support of Islamic terrorist group ISIS have gone undeterred by Dutch authorities in the Hague. Two public rallies, expressing support for ISIS have been held this month, with chants advocating the murder of “dirty Jews from the sewers” heard at both.
The first protest inciting violence towards Jews was held on July 4, while a second went ahead last week, on July 24, Dutch newspaper NL Times reports.
Doctor Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center addressed a passionate letter to the Dutch prime minister in response to the protests, asking him to rescind approval should a third demonstration of this kind be organised.
“Yesterday, the call in Arabic and Dutch was for ‘dirty Jews from the sewers to be killed,’” Samuels told Jewish paper the Algemeiner, a day after the second protest.
“This rally had little to do with Gaza solidarity. It was unambiguously targeted against Jews, but also according to the Dutch press sought to lynch journalists, who were pulled to safety by the police, otherwise serving as silent spectators.”
Doctor Samuels had initially pleaded to the Mayor of the Hague, Mayor Jozias van Aartsen, to undertake preventative measures to stifle the protest to no success.
“The Dutch people today, sadly, face two forms of terrorism”, the letter reads. “The first from those who brought down the Malaysian aircraft over Ukraine. The second from the potential danger at home from ISIS,” Samuels wrote.
“Mr. Mayor, you can stop the second, if you wish. If you do not, you will share responsibility for the consequence.”
Samuels presented video footage of the rally, which shows a crowd larger than 50, waving ISIS flags and yelling “Maut al-Yahud’ (Death to the Jews)”.
According to Samuels, police reports of the demonstration on the July 24 misrepresented the scale of the violence, disagreeing with the account given by authorities.
The Public Prosecutor’s report of the rally said that “there were only 40 to 50 people present… the police were present with an Arabic speaking police officer” and “the slogans overheard by this officer were not considered as crossing boundaries. Hence no arrest was made.”
One Dutch parliamentarian who joined the calls of condemnation of the protest was part-Moroccan Labor MP Ahmed Marcouch. “What are these kids doing there in the first place? ISIS is pure barbarism, it is bloodthirsty," he told The Daily Beast. "We can’t allow them to win our children away from us.”
“The greatest insult of ISIS may even be toward the Muslims and Islam itself,” he said.
“I call on the Muslim community: stand up and don’t allow your religion to be hijacked by these idiots! Don’t make light of them, but make yourself strong against them, these barbaric criminals. Muslims have to speak out: ‘Not in my name! Stay away from my faith,’" he added
While sporadic and sometimes anti-Semitic violence has broken out at pro-Palestinian protests in European capitals over the last month, official action to contain them has been undertaken by French, German and Italian authorities.
The Dutch protest also marks the first time demonstrations in support of ISIS, now known as the Islamic State, which has declared a ‘caliphate’ over parts of Syria and northern Iraq that it controls, have been held publicly in Europe.
Mayor van Aartsen’s refusal to discourage the protests has sparked a petition to remove him from office, which has already collected close to 17 000 signatures.
News of anti-Semitic violence in Europe comes as video footage showing far right Israeli protesters chanting “"There's no children left there [in Gaza]" and "Gaza is a cemetery" in Tel Aviv yesterday, has emerged online.