High prices, rising poverty increase Antisemitism, experts warn
Antisemitism always increases in times of rising costs and growing poverty, experts told NU.nl. With record high inflation and more and more people struggling to make ends meet in the Netherlands, it is therefore crucial that the government acts quickly against the hatred of Jewish people.
“The past has shown that Antisemitism increases when there is unrest in society. That was also the case during the coronavirus crisis,” Eddo Verdoner, the National Coordinator for fighting Antisemitism (NCAB), said to the newspaper. He is confident that people will again use Jewish people as a scapegoat in the current cost crisis. “You can set the clock by that.”
The NCAB is right, Bart Wallet, professor of Jewish studies at the University of Amsterdam, said to NU.nl. “When there are crises, many people feel they are losing control of their lives.” Conspiracy theories offer people a simple scapegoat for a complex problem. “That quickly becomes mixed with Antisemitism.”
The Verwey-Jonker institute and the Anne Frank House confirmed the above views.
According to Verdoner, people wrongly assume that Antisemitism only exists when there are Jewish people to experience it. He cited Antisemitic chants in football stadiums as an example. “Antisemitism also exists when there are no Jews present. What you see in football stadiums has an effect in the classroom and at work. It also fuels other hatred, for example, against foreigners. This makes Antisemitism a danger to the rule of law.”
On Thursday, Verdoner sent his first action plan against Antisemitism to the government. He advised acting more against online Antisemitism, improving education on the Holocaust, and normalizing the Jewish lifestyle, for example, by King Willem-Alexander or Prime Minister Mark Rutte giving a televised speech for Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.