Pro-Palestinian march faces backlash over route through Amsterdam Jewish quarter
The proposed route for a protest march for Palestine in Amsterdam on Sunday has sparked controversy on Tuesday. The march was initially planned to proceed from Dam Square to Jonas Daniël Meijerplein in the old Jewish neighborhood. One of the march’s organizers stated they had not fully considered the sensitivity of the location and are working on an alternative route route, AT5 reported on Tuesday.
The foundation “Plant een Olijfboom” (English: "Plant an Olive Tree"), one of the event's organizers, posted on Tuesday a call on social media to join a protest march on Sunday afternoon in Amsterdam. “For decades the Netherlands is so quiet when it comes to enforcing international law for Palestine. We won’t be silent,” they stated.
The choice of the route, especially the final segment ending in the old Jewish neighborhood where the Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Museum are located, has drawn criticism. JA21 council member Annabel Nanninga notably commented, "Amsterdam, Mokum, don't let this happen. Take your Israeli flag and show peacefully, dignifiedly, and calmly what our city stands for.”
Ze weten precies waar die buurt in ons Mokum voor staat. - Ophef over Palestina-mars naar oude Joodse buurt Amsterdam: "Niet bij stilgestaan" https://t.co/PgumwoR9TL— Annabel Nanninga (@ANanninga) October 10, 2023
Ruben Vis of the Central Jewish Consultation (CJO) called the choice provocative in de Telegraaf. “The Jonas Daniël Meijerplein is the heart of the old Jewish quarter. Jews were rounded up here during the Second World War and deported to concentration camps,” he said.
The Plant an Olive Tree foundation responded to the concerns, saying they had not given much thought to the sensitivity of the final location. "It is a very easy walking route that has been walked before," a spokesperson told AT5, adding it was not a “deliberate” choice. “We hear that it is sensitive, so we are working on adjusting the route.”
On their social media, the organization said on Tuesday afternoon that they were considering an alternative route. “Details are not yet clear. It will remain in Amsterdam. Please keep an eye on the page for the changes,” they wrote.
The event is being co-organized with several other groups, including Diensten- en Onderzoekscentrum Palestina, Decolonize Groningen, Rotterdam voor Gaza, Breed Platform Palestina Haarlem, Internationale Socialisten, and Palestijnse Gemeenschap Nederland.
The municipality acknowledged the planned march and said it is "looking into it,” according to AT5.