Firework bomb latest of many attacks on Jewish family in Noord-Holland town

Dutch police crime scene tape
Dutch police crime scene tapePhoto: Politie

A firework bomb exploded at the home of a Jewish family in Hippolytushoef last week - the latest of dozens of anti-Semitic incidents targeted at the family over the past 20 years, according to father Wouter Schmidt. The municipality of Hollands Kroon, which covers Hippolytushoef, is investigating whether a group of young people may be responsible for the harassment, NH Nieuws reports. 

"There is indeed a group of young people who are reported to be a nuisance", mayor Rian van Dam said to the newspaper. She called the harassment of the family nauseating and unacceptable. She said that the case "was not very well known" to the municipality and that investigation is now being done. "We are going to look structurally at a group of young people who cause nuisance and do things like this", she said. She will also discuss with the family what measures can be taken to increase their sense of security.

The Hollands Kroon city council discussed the issue on Tuesday night. Wouter Schmidt told about the years-long harassment of his family, culminating in the firework bomb early on Thursday morning last week, at the council meeting. Things like 'cancer Jew', 'Jew whore', and 'they forgot to gas you' are regularly shouted as his family, he said. 

The city councilors were horrified, according to Noordhollands Dagblad. "I am deeply ashamed that this has been going on for 20 years and I have not known about it", VVD councilor Enno Bijlstra said, according to the paper.

A neighbor told Noordhollands Dagblad that the bomb throwers were teenagers, about 16 years old with a group of even younger followers. "They get stones here from the garden to throw at the family's house", the neighbor said. "It's been this way for 20 years. Then the behavior moves on to the next generation. I can think of nothing else."

According to the newspaper, a witness to the firework bomb incident reported to the family, but "doubts whether it is wise to go to the police". He is worried that the person he saw had nothing to do with the incident. "You have to be careful with things like this", Noordhollands Dagblad quotes the witness. "You can't just accuse people. I was awake when the bomb went off. I heard the bang and a plume of smoke was visible far above the roof. I did not see a group in any case, but a person."