Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 09:27
R'dam mayor speaks to Jewish groups to prevent hostilities
Rotterdam's mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb spoke with representatives of the Jewish community in his city on Monday, to touch base with them, and to speak about the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip. Aboutaleb wants a culture of peace to exist amongst the religious and ethnic groups in his city. The mayor wants to know what kind of sentiments lie within the Jewish community in Rotterdam. After various pro-Gaza demonstrations in various Dutch cities have generated unrest, the mayor also wants to show his concern. A demonstration against Israeli violence in Rotterdam on Sunday proceeded without incident. After The Hague's mayor Jozias van Aartsen was urged to resign this week for his inaction over anti-Semitic expressions chanted at a demonstration in the Schilderswijk, mayor Aboutaleb wants to make sure that residents of his city know "the mutual relationships in the city may never degenerate into hostilities because of the conflict." The mayor spoke with Leo Vromen (president of the Dutch-Israelite Community Rotterdam), Leopold Hertzberger (president Liberal Jewish Community Rotterdam) and with Simon Cohen (president Coalition Rotterdammers for Each Other). Police chief Frank Paauw was also present. Aboutaleb wants to engage in discourse with the various religious and ethnic groups in the city, and will meet with the groups after the Summer "to in that way come to a collective agenda for a stable society in Rotterdam."