Growing Anti-Semitism: Headstones Smashed at Dutch Jewish Cemetery
Two headstones were smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Vlissingen; one belonged to a director of the Royal Schelde shipyard.
Two headstones were smashed and broken at a Jewish cemetery in the southern Dutch city of Vlissingen.
The vandalism at the Jewish site was discovered last week, but it was not immediately clear if the incident was motivated by anti-Semitism, Dutch news site jonet.nl reported on Wednesday.
One of the headstones belonged to the grave of Joseph van Raalte, a director of the Royal Schelde shipyard, which built vessels for the Dutch Navy.
Police are searching for suspects but do not yet have anyone in custody.
Anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands increased dramatically during Israel’s last war against Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza.
The watchdog Center for Information and Documentation on Israel logged 105 complaints during the two-months of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
In comparison, the organization only registered 147 complaints during the entirety of 2013.
One particular anti-Semitic incident involved a firebomb being hurled at the Amsterdam home of a Jewish woman from Mexico. She had displayed an Israeli flag on her porch.
As a result of such incidents, a growing number of Dutch Jews have begun to avoid displaying Jewish symbols publicly, so says Manfred Gerstenfeld.
Gerstenfeld, a scholar of anti-Semitism who grew up in the Netherlands, has written more than ten books on the subject of Jew-hatred in Europe.
As an example of such avoidance, earlier this week, the Jewish community of Heemstede near Haarlem inaugurated a new synagogue which displayed few Jewish symbols on the building’s facade.
According the Heemsteedse Courant daily, this was done for security reasons.