Amsterdam woman beaten over Israeli flag

Israeli flag
. Source: Flickr/James Emery

In Amsterdam, the Gaza conflict is spilling over into Dutch territory. In a case that has received politicians' attention, police are investigating the assault of a Jewish woman, Seraphina Verhofstadt-Makker, from the Dapperbuurt area in the city. She says that she was assaulted by men because she hung her Israel flag from her balcony, Het Parool reports.

Verhofstadt writes on Facebook that three men wearing Palestine scarves beat her violently. "I got stomped in my stomach and face and was then strangled. They had a sort of fire torch with them that they threw at me."

According to Verhofstadt, there is a possibility that the men will come back. She says the police are protecting her. The police say that Verhofstadt sprayed a red paint on the men to protect herself, which they may still be covered with.

Although the victim believes it is the fact that she openly showed her support of Israel that fueled the attack, the police do not believe her ancestry plays a part.

Politicians in the city, however, are taking the case into account as yet another outburst of violence tied to the Gaza conflict, and anti-Semitism. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan says that people should not get away with this kind of behavior in Amsterdam. "The police is on top of it, and rightly so."

MPs Klaas Dijkhoff (VVD) and Joram van Klaveren (Groep Bontes/Van Klaveren) have already brought the issue into question in the Cabinet. "Jewess abused because of flag. Can't happen", Dijkhoff tweeted.

Ahmed Marcouch (PvdA) called it "horrible". "Inconceivable how much Jew-hate is coming out these days. Sad, shocking and even more reason to fight hard against anti-Semitism", said Elbert Dijkgraaf (SGP).

Van Klaveren is piling the incident on top of a number of violent incidents in the city related to the Gaza conflict. On the Kruger square in Oost, a home with an Israel flag on it was pelted with a fire bomb. The residents of this home also received threatening letters, Het Parool writes. "Scary developments from the last period", Van Klaveren says.

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