More Jews fled Netherlands for Israel amid anti-Semitism rise

Mobile Unit
Dutch police swarm in response to a riot in the Hague. August 2014Dutch police swarm in response to a riot in the Hague. August 2014

In a year that saw several crimes related to anti-Semitism occur in the Netherlands and a vicious assault on a kosher supermarket in Paris, about 85 Jewish people emigrated out of the Netherlands for Israel, an increase from about 61 a year earlier. The violence prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for Jews living in Europe to flee for Israel.

“85 is still not much out of a community of 45 thousand,” Guy Muller told the Volkskrant. Muller represents the Netherlands-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI). “But Dutch Jews are more occupied with the question of if they will ever leave,” Muller said.

He also considered it bad for morale to see the increase in armed security at Jewish institutions across the Netherlands following anti-Semitic chanting and rioting at a Hague gathering in 2014. Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, said it has led to more calls from parents concerned there is no future for their Jewish children in the Netherlands.

“This wave of terror attacks can be expected to continue, including antisemitic and murderous attacks. We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms,” Netanyahu said in February.

“There is no conceivable Netherlands without Dutch Jews. Our history is connected, our future will be,” Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher said in response. “If you go to Israel, do so because of a positive choice."