The escape from Holland
After hiding his skullcap and being harassed, son of Amsterdam’s chief rabbi flees to Israel. Senior Dutch politician: Jews with conscience should leave
Benzion Evers believes Amsterdam is not a safe place for Jews. The son of the Dutch capital’s chief rabbi says he is planning on leaving the country next year together with his wife and infant son.
In spite of being a popular vacation destination for Israeli travelers, and even though the city boasts a warm Jewish community of thousands, 22 year old Evers, son of Raphael, Amsterdam’s chief rabbi has announced that the country is becoming less safe for Jews.
“It’s not that you can’t leave the house” he explains in an interview to the Het Parool newspaper, “but you constantly need to hide, to be careful and to carefully examine which neighborhoods to go into and which not to go into.”
He also told of how recently, he is careful never to leave the house wearing his fur hat and hides his skullcap under a baseball cap when going through neighborhoods with high concentrations of Moroccan and Turkish immigrants.
The interview he gave to the newspaper was mentioned in many Dutch publications and one newspaper even declared that “history was repeating itself”.
Ever’s announcement continues a storm sparked last week when former EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, the former head of the Dutch Liberal Party, stated that “Jews with a conscience should leave Holland, where they and their children have no future, leave for the US or Israel.”
Bolkestein admitted to being pessimistic with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which, in his opinion, is fanning the flames of anti-Semitism in his country. “Holland has Arab television channels that promote anti-Semitism,” he noted.
“I don’t hang any hopes on the various suggestions that are raised on occasion to battle the incitement against Jews. I see no quick fix on the horizon; anti-Semitism will continue to exist, because the Moroccan and Turkish youngsters don’t care about efforts for reconciliation.”
The One Hand organization was founded in Holland 20 years ago in stubborn efforts to end anti-Semitism in the country. “As yet, there are no registered cases of violent attacks,” Holland’s Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs stated, “but ant-Semitic behavior is becoming more and more conspicuous.
“When haredi Jews go to synagogue, they might meet with calls of ‘Jew’ from youths in the street and recently, someone threw paint all over a synagogue door.”
In an interview to Arutz 7 he added, “The gentiles will always find excuses for anti-Semitism. They will say Jews are richer, they separate themselves from the rest of society, geniuses etc… None of these reasons justifies anti-Semitism, but you can’t change the outlook of Jew-hatred through rational arguments.”
There is no need to convince Evers: Five of his brothers and sisters have already left Holland, and he already has his bags packed. He estimates that “60% of Amsterdam’s orthodox community intends to emigrate from Holland. Emigration is the only solution for us, and when my father finishes his term as rabbi and retires he will most likely leave Holland as well.”