Dutch parliament votes to fight antisemitism

A motion to fund security for Jewish organisations was rejected


The Dutch parliament passed a series of motions designed to fight antisemitism in the country, but a draft motion calling for the government to pay for synagogue security was turned down.

In a two-day session of the Justice and Security Commission in the parliament’s lower house (the Tweede Kamer), motions were passed for the creation of new specialised police units to deal with antisemitic crimes, as well as a non-binding call for the government to appoint an antisemitism tzar.

However, a motion which claimed the Dutch Jewish community “often lacks the means to adequately protect their infrastructure, events and synagogue services” and called on the government to fund that infrastructure was rejected.

The motion, filed by Geert Wilders and Gidi Markuszower of the far-right populist Party for Freedom, received 28 votes out of 150. The ruling People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and other left-wing parties voted against it.

According to the Times of Israel, Jewish organisations in the Netherlands spend over $1.2million (£964,000) a year on security.

As of 2015, the Netherlands has a Jewish population of just under 30,000, and is home to Jewish institutions such as the Anne Frank House and the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam.

In 2016, the city of Amsterdam – which is home to about half the Dutch Jewish population – announced it would give €10 million (£7.7 million) to Jews there as compensation for housing taxes imposed on Holocaust survivors after they returned from concentration camps which had been accrued in their absence.

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