Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld’s interview with Chief Rabbi Jacobs of the interprovincial rabbinate in The Netherlands. This was first published in Israel National News, and republished here with permission from the author.

It is evident that you cannot offset the friendly experiences he encounters against the anti-Semtic reality. Which Dutch Imam, let alone a Christian clergyman in the Netherlands needs an alarm button to the police? KGS

Op-Ed: Holland: Both Anti-Semitism and Sympathy for Jews

Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 10:15 PM

Interview Series: Netherlands Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs says, “I don’t go to bed anymore without putting the alarm on.”

“People often insult me in public. It can happen almost anywhere, such as at the train station in Rotterdam or in the center of Amersfoort, the town where I live. For instance, someone may shout at me ‘Yehoud’ — a negative term for a Jew in Arabic. When I walked home from our synagogue a few years ago, a child of about 10 years old shouted out ‘Dirty stinking Jew.’

“At train stations where a lot of youngsters hang out, I am almost always insulted. These shouts do not only come from non-Western immigrants, but from native Dutchmen as well. If I go to the synagogue on Saturday afternoon I am shouted at not only at the mosque but also near the hockey-field.”

Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs is head of the IPOR — the Rabbinate for the Jewish communities outside of Amsterdam — and also the Rabbi of the Sinai Center, the only Jewish psychiatric hospital in Europe. He has been interviewed by several Dutch media on the anti-Semitism he experiences and by Arutz Sheva in the past..

“I perceive that the aggression against Jews who are recognizable by their dress has increased greatly. On the other hand, there is also an increase in sympathy toward us. When I enter a train, someone may just shake my hand and say ‘Shalom’ or something positive about Jews and Israel.

“Developments in the Netherlands are worrisome. Whenever something dramatic happens in Israel, people start shouting at you ‘Israel’ or ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas.’ Once I had a very shocking experience. A non-Jewish psychologist and I entered a train full of Feyenoord soccer fans. They started to chant: ‘Jews to the gas.’ I had the feeling that this whole train of ‘ordinary Dutchmen’ was against us.

“The psychologist shrank from fear. I thought that displaying signs of anxiety wouldn’t be helpful, thus I feigned that I was indifferent to it, as a sign of strength. One may consider this incident as just an act of hooliganism, yet if one of these idiots had attacked us, many more would have probably followed him.”

“Across from our house is a school with children who come from greatly varied backgrounds. One day a Turkish lady walked up to me, holding a young child tightly by the hand. The child looked deathly afraid. The lady said to the child, ‘Don’t be frightened, this grandfather won’t hurt you. He’s a nice man.’ The boy seemed to be of Moroccan origin and thought that I would kidnap him. He had apparently been told that Jews are dangerous. That lady wanted to teach him otherwise.

“Such feelings are heightened because in the mosques here, a film was shown in which Israel is falsely accused of kidnapping Arab children to give their eyes to Jewish children. Afterwards, the Arab child is blind and the Jewish child can see again. A kid who has heard this is obviously afraid.

“At a kindergarten, a three year old child from Somalia called me ‘a dirty Jew.’ I cannot debate with a small child! The teacher who was Dutch went to speak with the child’s parents about this incident. Altering such behavior however demands a major cultural change!

“The authorities do far too little about the criminality against Jews. One New Year’s Eve, hooligans shouted in front of my house, ‘Jews Jews’ and started to destroy my gate. I called the police, who arrived an hour and a half later.

“The Board of the Rabbinate decided that I need to have an alarm system at home which is connected directly to the police station. Initially I thought this was nonsense. But the system was put in nevertheless. I am not afraid, but it surprised me that I felt more secure with the alarm. This feeling in itself frightened me. I don’t go to bed anymore without putting the alarm on.

“A major problem for the Jewish community is that the Dutch media is also anti-Israeli. They use expressions which are a new type of anti-Semitism. I try to correct that as much as possible.

I remember a big photograph in the local newspaper Amersfoortse Courant of an Israeli tank. The article said that it had run over and killed a Palestinian. Next to it was a small news item about how during that same week in another country, 200 executions had taken place.

“I asked the editors: ‘Why do you devote a quarter of a page to a dead Palestinian and only a small article to 200 dead people elsewhere? They replied, ‘We don’t have a journalist in that country.’ Just to clarify, I believe that one Palestinian killed is one too many. Afterwards however, it turned out that he had not been killed, nor had the tank run him over.”

This is a shortened version of an interview which appeared in Dutch in Manfred Gerstenfeld’s bestselling book “The Decay: Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands”.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld. The writer has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the Boards of several major multinational corporations in Europe and North America. He is the Chairman of the Board of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.


  1. I believe the Jews would do themselves a huge favour if they gave up kosher food. I suspect the majority of them have already. It could easily be done, the Chief Rabbi could explain that thousands of years ago this was probably the most humane method but times have changed. If they don’t eat pork fair enough, and if a few of them prefer dressing a bit oddly, so be it, doesn’t bother me in the slightest. They might want to consider binning the Talmud also, I believe there’s some nasty stuffy in there.

  2. Hey Paris . . .I bet you’d feel better if Jews simply stopped breathing the same air as you. The Talmud hasn’t changed since it’s inception and does not represent edicts to perform ‘nasty stuffy’ into modern times, unlike that qur’an which is written to dictate eternal violence until all worship is for the Islamic fiction of allah.
    It’s so easy for open minded fools to don the hijab in solidarity with the most intolerant belief system claiming ‘islamophobia’. Take note of the number of threats coming from Jews while donning the hijab-for-a-day and publish the details.
    How many of these ‘tolerant’ individuals would dare don the attire of orthodox Jews for a day to experience the disgusting hatred and dangers aimed at them in contemporary Netherlands? Bet results will be vastly different when noting the emotional/physical threats & challenges presented by antisemitism within the very same communities. Consider it a challenge.

  3. wtd, you’ve got it wrong about me. I often defend Jews, but I have difficulty overcoming attacks re the Talmud and rutual slaughter. Admittedly I’d never heard of the Talmud ’till a few years ago but the few quotes I’ve seen don’t exactly fill me with joy. When it comes to ritual slaughter Jews tend to side with muslims. I’d prefer to see muslims isolated on this issue. I generally like and respect Jews and their achievements, but have nothing but loathing for islam

  4. “Developments in the Netherlands are worrisome. Whenever something dramatic happens in Israel, people start shouting at you ‘Israel’ or ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas.’ Once I had a very shocking experience. A non-Jewish psychologist and I entered a train full of Feyenoord soccer fans. They started to chant: ‘Jews to the gas.’ I had the feeling that this whole train of ‘ordinary Dutchmen’ was against us.

    Now, that is really a nasty piece of propaganda because it has nothing to do with jews and everything with the football. The Feyenoord fans where on their way to a game against Ajax. Ajax fans call themselves Superjews and display Israel-flags and so on.
    So when they say Jews to the gas, they mean non other than the Ajaxfans! I even seriously doubt if the chants in the train were even directed at him. It very well might be, but it would not be a normal thing for a Feyenoordfan to do.

    Ow, and by the way……does he ever mention what the Feyenoordfans are called by the Ajaxfans and what they want to do to them? No, ofcourse not. Because that would not serve his purpose! Better yet, it would blow his whole ridiculous argument completely out of the water!

    And then another thing: why does he insist on giving a large share of the blame to native dutchmen? Its no secret that the rampant anti-semitism comes from dutch muslims almost exclusively.

    So why does he spend most part of this interview saying that native Dutchmen are just as bad or maybe even worse?? I tell you why: political correctness! The laws of PC prohibits that you blame muslims for anything. And if the blaming is really utmost and totally unavoidable, PC demands that you deal at least the same amount of blame on the native Dutch. Or risk being deemed racist and totally out of bounce!

    So, even in his hour of need, this rabbi still finds being politically correct more important than speaking the truth.

    Now, im a big supporter of Israel and im proud to say i stand with the Jews!!!
    But this kind of thing we can well do without!

  5. Europe is slipping into barbarism lead by the Moslem immigrants and their dimmihs (sp?) I really don’t know if anything besides massive amounts of remedial education would help.

  6. Paris, you freely admit you have little familiarity with the torah, yet you feign indignance and morbid difficulties over something you have little understanding of. Keep this in mind . . .Islam is a missionizing belief system. Judaism is not. Muslims aspire to apply sharia upon everyone while observant Jews seek only to live by Jewish law applied to themselves only. No one is, and no one will ever be forcing Judaism or Jewish law upon you or anyone else. Don’t appreciate Kosher slaughter . . .then don’t buy kosher. No one is going to question your motives and no one will force Kosher goods into your diet. Can you say the same of Islam?

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