Jewish leaders say “no” to Syrian refugees on anti-semitism concern

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Two Syrian boys outside a temporary refugee home in Lebanon (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/DFID - UK Department for International Development)Two Syrian boys outside a temporary refugee home in Lebanon (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/DFID - UK Department for International Development)

The Jewish community of Amsterdam-Zuid are concerned about the arrival of a refugee center in Amstelveen-Noord, which local residents were informed about on Monday night. The proposed shelter will house 400 refugees, mostly from Syria and Iraq. 

This weekend it was announced that the municipality of Amstelveen intends to shelter refugees in the office building on Laan van Kronenberg - less than a kilometer away from Buitenveldert, home to the largest Jewish community in the Netherlands.

The Central Jewish Board is concerned that there will be incidents. "Let there be no doubt that the Jewish community is overwhelmingly for the reception of war refugees. But we have major concerns", chairman Ron van der Wieken said to NU on Monday. "These people come from countries such as Syria and Iraq, who traditionally take an extremely harsh tone against Jews. These people are largely brainwashed to hate Jews. You should not underestimate it.

Ron Eisenmann, president of the Center for Information and Documentation Israel and faction leader of VVD Amsterdam-Zuid, also raised his concerns on Twitter. "Not a good plan, Syrian refugees in the middle of a Jewish neighborhood.", he tweeted. This tweet was met with opposition from, among others, GroenLinks alderwoman in Waterland Laura Bromet. "Maybe you can point out a Syrian neighborhood where they can go", she replied to his tweet.

VVD Amsterdam Zuid also released a statement on their website saying that they are concerned about support among residents of Buitenveldert. "Given the disquiet among residents in the area and the importance of social security, the VVD insists that adequate security and surveillance will be present in the district." The party also wants the emergency shelter to only accommodate families.

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