4-19-02 - SWC TO DUTCH MINISTER: "NOT SINCE THE NAZI OCCUPATION
WERE THERE MORE SWASTIKAS IN AMSTERDAM

From Simon Wiesenthal Center

The 13 April anti-Israel demonstration in Amsterdam featured more swastikas than the city has seen since the Nazi occupation.

Observers counted over 75 swastikas, several photos of Hitler, Stars of David superimposed on swastikas, banners proclaiming "USA = Jews = Nazis," "USA = Star of David" and demonstrators chanting "Sieg Heil," "Jews into the Sea" and "Al Yahud Kalb" ("The Jews are Dogs" in Arabic).

In a letter to the Netherlands Minister of the Interior, Klaas de Vreas, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director for International Liaison, Dr. Shimon Samuels, stated that "this demonstration insults the Dutch anti-Nazi resistance and impugns valiant efforts to confront the history of the Holocaust in the Netherlands. But concern for the 1940's Jewish victims of Nazism is meaningless without sensitivity to contemporary antisemitism."

The letter continued: "Such behavior would never have been tolerated from the extreme-right, yet neo-Nazism is clearly accepted if in the guise of anti-Israel expression."

The Center urged the Minister "to ensure that this outrage never recurs, that the offenders be prosecuted and that all measures be taken to defuse the current climate of antisemitism in the Netherlands, that emanates from the Middle East."

For further information, please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at +33 (0)6 09770158.

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