Former VVD leader Frits Bolkestein told a tv show on Thursday night he had never called on orthodox Jews to leave the Netherlands because of growing anti-semitism, particularly from young Muslim men.
‘Newspapers gave the impression I had called on Jews to leave. That is not the case. I only want people not to look away. The past shows us that the Dutch look away too often,’ Bolkestein told the Pauw en Witteman talk show.
Bolkestein said he made the comments in a ‘personal communication’ with the author of a book on anti-semitism in the Netherlands. ‘I’m not even sure I gave permission for it to be published,’ he said.
Current Dutch policy makes it difficult to combat anti-semitism, the former EU commissioner said. ‘You cannot put a policeman in front of every house.’