Antisemitic incidents reached a record high in the Netherlands in 2019, according to a report published by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), an organization that has monitored antisemitism in the Netherlands for nearly 30 years.
The report divided the 182 reported antisemitic incidents into six categories, finding an overall increase of 35 percent to the number of antisemitic incidents in 2019. The number of incidents involving assaults, verbal threats and insults more than doubled, an increase to 61 from the 27 reported cases in 2018. There were 18 antisemitic incidents where the perpetrator supported the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, including incidents where the perpetrator referred to the Jewish victims as “cockroaches” and other dehumanizing words.
The report also found at least 127 antisemitic incidents online, which is not included the 182 antisemitic incidents overall. CIDI conceded that the number of antisemitic incidents is likely higher than the report found since CIDI does not track antisemitic hate speech online, but rather verifies reported incidents of antisemitism online. The rate of online antisemitic incidents tended to increase based off relevant news items. For instance, after Dutch Railways announced that it would compensate Holocaust victims’ relatives for the company’s role in deporting victims to Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, CIDI noticed a sharp increase in antisemitic rhetoric online.
It also is likely that the rate of antisemitic incidents were higher than the report found since victims often do not report antisemitic incidents to the police due to the fear that reporting the incident will yield little results. Netherlands’ previous record for antisemitic incidents was in 2014, when there were 171 incidents overall. It is believed that the rise of antisemitic incidents in 2014 was related to the increase in tensions between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The 2019 CIDI report did not find a correlation between a political event and the rise in antisemitism across the Netherlands.
Despite the overall troubling findings of the report, there was a promising decline in the number of antisemitic incidents in the “immediate vicinity” of the victims' work or home. The number of incidents of vandalism or antisemitic graffiti also fell, which contrasted with other European countries, who have experienced an increase in vandalization and antisemitic graffiti.