Antisemitic incidents reach highest level in 10 years in the Netherlands

(JTA) — The number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands hit a 10-year high of 183 cases in 2021, a Dutch Jewish watchdog group said.

The 2021 tally was a 35% increase from the previous year, the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, said.

At least 72 of the incidents occurred in what CIDI called “live” conditions, meaning in physical spaces, not online. Of these, 21 were acts of vandalism and three incidents were violent assaults.

In an attack, three men hit a Jewish man and his sister on the street in the west of Amsterdam. The woman wore traditional Orthodox Jewish clothing and wore a mask with a Star of David she received from the Beit Shalom Jewish nursing home while volunteering there.

One of the attackers told the siblings, “Jews don’t belong here,” the siblings told police.

One of the vandalism incidents involved a mural in Rotterdam caricaturing Steven Berghuis, who is not Jewish but plays for Ajax, an Amsterdam team considered “Jewish” by his fans and fans of rival teams . In the mural, Berghuis wears a yellow star and a yarmulke and has a large hooked nose. It was titled ‘Jews still stray’, in an apparent reference to his move from City side Feyenoord to rival Ajax.

Separately, Canada experienced a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2021, according to B’nai Brith Canada’s annual audit released Sunday. The advocacy group cited 2,799 total anti-Jewish hate crimes, up 7% from 2020. Most notable was a sharp rise in violent incidents, from just nine in 2020 to 75 in 2021.

The incidents included a burning Montreal kosher bakery, beatings and vandalism at a synagogue, with the largest increases occurring in the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, according to the audit. In one incident, a man gave the Nazi salute before punching a woman on a Toronto subway.

Canada’s Jewish community “tops the list” of targeted minorities in the country, said B’nai Brith senior legal counsel David Matas.

The audit also recorded a slight drop in harassment incidents from 2,483 to 2,460, but noted a 12% increase in online hate, likely due to the rise of the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. .

In Italy, 226 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded last year, down slightly from the 230 cases documented in 2020, the watchdog group CDEC said in its annual report.

David Lazarus contributed reporting.

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