Statement on increasing antisemitism


April 5, 2024 — The war between Israel and Hamas has major consequences, first of all for the residents of Israel and Gaza, who are struggling with fear, violence and shortages, are displaced and missing their loved ones. We are deeply concerned about this war, which is causing deep wounds among Israelis and Palestinians and fuelling distrust and hatred between the two peoples.

We are also seriously concerned about the consequences of this war in the rest of the world: the increasing hardening, the increasing hatred against Jews, against Muslims.

We see that Jews are held individually or generally responsible for Israel’s policies and actions and that they are confronted with antisemitic statements by some people taking part in demonstrations. In the Netherlands we saw this in early March at the opening of the National Holocaust Museum, where antisemitic slogans were even hurled against Holocaust survivors. Online, but also in their daily lives, Jews have to deal with verbal abuse and threats. Many feel unsafe.

Emotions are running high due to the ongoing war and the images of innocent civilian victims. That is understandable. However, it is incomprehensible and unacceptable that Jews should be held responsible for Israel's government policies and are verbally abused and threatened. There is no excuse for hatred of Jews.

Antisemitism and other forms of hatred must be stopped. Let us continue to seek connection and dialogue and continue to see ‘the other’ as a fellow human being. That requires effort from all of us.

‘Oh, it’s sad, very sad that the old adage has been confirmed for the umpteenth time: what one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does reflects on all Jews.’