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Dutch Chief Rabbi: Being Called ‘Dirty Jew’ Now Normal

Jerusalem Post

Addressing a new campaign against anti-Semitism which calls on European gentiles to publicly wear Jewish symbols in solidarity with their Jewish neighbors, Holland’s chief rabbi chose to share his views on the startlingly dramatic rise of anti-Jewish hatred he has witnessed.

Speaking to the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Benjamin Jacobs, the leader of Holland’s substantial Jewish population, numbering 30,000, expressed concern at the reemergence of anti-Semitism in the country.

“Forty years ago when I came to Holland, it never ever happened that someone will call me in the street a dirty Jew or curse me because I’m Jewish, visibly Jewish. Today it’s normal.”

“It happened already to me personally,” the rabbi explained. “They [anti-Semites] threw things at my windows. A car drove into me, but thank God, the government is protecting me in a very good and friendly way.”

Yet many Dutch Jews feel the affects of a growing tide of anti-Jewish sentiment. Many Jews have even taken to hiding their identity for fear of being harassed or even attacked.

“Our response should be that we stay visible Jewish. Wearing a yarmulke on the streets [and] not a baseball cap. Wear a Magen David, whatever way one needs to show he is Jewish,” Rabbi Jacobs said.

The response by some Jewish voices has been to take this call one step further

Rabbi Menachem Margolin of The European Jewish Association explained that his organization has set forth a campaign “to get as many non-Jews as possible to wear Jewish symbols and show solidarity, and that they are a part of the silent majority that is not anti-Semitic.”

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3 Comments

  • 1. Milhouse wrote:

    The headline calls Rabbi Jacobs the “Dutch chief rabbi”, i.e. chief rabbi of the whole Netherlands, but the article calls him “Holland’s chief rabbi”, as if he were the chief rabbi only of one province. Neither one is the truth. The truth is that each of the major cities has its own chief rabbi, and Rabbi Jacobs is the chief rabbi for the rest of the country. (There is no overall chief rabbi for the whole country.)

    Calling him chief rabbi of the Netherlands is like calling Solly Spigler (Chabad of RARA) the head shliach of Australia! It’s true that Solly’s shlichus covers about 98% of Australia’s territory, but it only covers about 2% of the Jews. So too Rabbi Jacobs’s chief rabbinate covers most of the Netherlands but only a small portion of its Jews.

  • 3. big fan wrote:

    Milhouse,
    Firstly, I’m not sure what you are referring too, but he doesn’t say anywhere in this article that he is the chief rabbi of the Netherlands, but he happens to be the only Dutch chief rabbi. nobody can deny that. the other chief rabbi , of Amsterdam, does not leave in Holland and is not Dutch.
    Secondly, this is not what the article is about. you are getting side tracked.

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