More anti-Semitic incidents reported, says OM
Anti-Semitism is growing in the Netherlands and the pile of anti-Semitic incidents continues to rise, according to the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OM). This is because the number of cases related to anti-Semitic behavior are higher in 2022 than in previous years, Trouw reported.
Each year, the prosecutor's office records the discrimination cases processed, including the number of cases involving anti-Semitism. However, this revealed a worrying trend: in 2022, a total of 144 discrimination cases were processed. Although, in contrast to 2021, the number of discrimination cases decreased by 13, the number of anti-Semitic cases among them increased. Reports range from discrimination in the workplace to an anti-Semitic mural, as happened in Rotterdam in 2021.
While in 2018 the OM had to deal with 20 cases involving anti-Semitic incidents, in 2022 it almost tripled to 61 cases. For the national coordinator for anti-Semitism, Eddo Verdoner, it is just the tip of the iceberg, he said.
In the last five years, the Public Prosecution Office handled a total of 237 cases of anti-Semitism. The number of unreported cases could also be higher, since reports or notifications regarding anti-Semitic incidents for which the police do not have sufficient evidence do not end up at the OM, the newspaper wrote.
Moreover, it is not possible to accurately record how many of the suspects linked to anti-Semitic incidents are also convicted. According to the Judicial Council, 23 people have been convicted of group insults against Jews in the last five years. Therefore, the number of unreported cases may be much higher, as the cases may also have been registered as "discrimination based on religious beliefs."
According to Verdoner, the increase in anti-Semitic statements is particularly noticeable on the Internet. In 2020 alone, more than 200,000 Dutch anti-Semitic messages circulated online, research by Utrecht University showed. The Internet presents a challenge, Verdoner told Trouw. "We need to look at how we can improve enforcement to deal with this large volume."
Even though during the pandemic the number of anti-Semitic cases decreased, the OM's figures show that there is, however, an upward trend regarding anti-Semitism in the Netherlands.