The Hague in crisis

The Hague has come under criticism from Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice, VVD). Specifically, the manner in which certain events in the city have been allowed to get out of hand are leaving the city's leaders in a state of chaos. The city's governance, with Mayor Jozias van Aartsen at the helm, has been deemed inactive, especially considering the irregularities in the Schilderswijk neighborhood over the last weekend, De Telegraaf reports.

The Mayor's office is very quiet, Minister Opstelten remarks, with the Mayor unwilling to return from his holiday. There has also been no statement from City Hall.

According to De Telegraaf, local politicians are now in panic because the city is in chaos during their summer recess. An emergency debate proposed by group De Mos has been declined while the PVV continuously calls for the departure of Mayor Van Aartsen.

What Dr. Shimon Samuels of the of the Simon Wiesenthal Center calls irony is the The Hague's slogan as 'City of Peace and Justice', and this irony is contested with a growing list of incidents. Demonstrators for and against terrorist organization ISIS have dominated the city's street, sometimes with a violent end, and other times with an unpalatable flavor of anti-Semitism.

Coalition parties are hesitant to go in on the apparent lack of overall cohesion in the local government. The PvdA only reacts via a weblog, and the D66 chooses its words carefully. "We have to look for a good way to handle this situation. After the vacation, calmly look what else can be done. There is absolutely something wrong, but let's not make it bigger than it is", said leader of the D66, Dander.

Throughout the unsavory incidents of the last weeks, De Telegraaf writes, The Hague's city government was entirely invisible but for one summary statement.

Contrastingly, in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the city leadership has been on the ball, talking with affected groups and appearing concerned, ready to react, which are not traits apparent in the leadership of Mayor Jozias van Aartsen.