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.”