Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is organising a series of meetings with different religious and ethnic groups in the port city in an effort to difuse any tensions which have arisen since the outbreak of hostilities in Gaza.
Aboutaleb, the first Muslim leader of a large western city, met representatives of Rotterdam’s Jewish community on Monday.
On Sunday around 1,000 people took part in a pro-Palestine demonstration in Rotterdam which passed off peacefully. According to Nos television, local Jewish leaders also said the protest was without problems.
‘The conflict should never result in the relationships [between people] in the city becoming hostile,’ the AD quotes Aboutaleb as saying.
The Hague’s mayor Jozias van Aartsen has been widely criticised for failing to ensure pro-Palestine demonstrations do not turn into anti-Jewish gatherings.
The public prosecution department is currently investigating anti-Jewish statements made at a rally in the city last week.
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