The three Jewish schools in Amsterdam are closed on Friday because of the security risk, after Hamas called on people all over the world to kill Jews to show solidarity with the people of Palestine.
The schools – Rosj Pina, Maimonides and Cheider – issued a joint statement saying that the safety of children and staff is of the highest priority and they would take “no risks”.
Channan Hertzberger, chairman of the Jewish organisation CJO told the Parool there had been “intensive dialogue” with the local authority and government officials but “there was not enough time to get clarity about scaling up security”.
“We had no other choice than to take this regrettable decision,” he said. The schools currently have security at the start and end of the school day, but wanted to expand this to cover the entire time the buildings are open.
Other Jewish organisations in the Dutch capital, including synagogues and the Jewish history museum, remain open.
Meanwhile, around 1,000 people gathered in central Amsterdam on Thursday evening to demonstrate in support of Israel, in the wake of the Hamas attacks.
The demonstrators lit candles and laid flowers, some carrying placards stating “Israeli lives matter” and “bring back the children” – a reference to the hostage-taking by Hamas at the weekend.
Jacob de Leeuwe, who lives in Israel, is currently visiting his three daughters and grandchildren. ‘We should have gone back today but my wife does not dare to,” he told the Parool. “There have been air attacks close to our home.”
A few counter demonstrators shouted “Free Palestine” and the organisers urged the pro-Israel crowd to ignore them.
Liam, a non-practising Jew, told the Parool: “This is why I am here. It is such a shame that we cannot talk to each other decently, just shout. We all want the same, that no innocent people die. That is the bottom line, away from politics.”
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation