Tuesday 21 March 2023

Dutch government to get special advisor on tackling anti-Semitism

Remembering the WWII deportations. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Netherlands is to get a new national coordinator to tackle anti-Semitism, and to strengthen the official approach towards dealing with threats, discrimination and intimidation, justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said on Sunday.

Last summer, MPs had pressed the government to appoint a special advisor to deal with anti-Semitism following an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands.

The NCAB’s primary task will be to advise the government about dealing with anti-Semitism from a legal perspective and on ensuring the safety of the Netherlands’ Jewish community, Grapperhaus said in a speech to the Dutch Maccabi community to mark this year’s Hannukah festivities.

In particular, social media has made anti-Semitism more visible and increased its reach, Grapperhaus said. The coronavirus crisis and its economic impact had also provided a feeding ground for conspiracy theories about the Jewish community, he said. ‘This is not a battle we should leave to the Jewish community alone.’

The job of NCAB is the second new coordinator planned in the field of racism.

Earlier this month, home affairs minister Kasja Ollongren told MPs the Netherlands is to get a new ‘national coordinator for discrimination and racism’. Currently, discrimination and racism fall under several different ministries and that makes a more coordinated approach necessary, Ollongren said.

‘There is discrimination in almost every part of society (including work, care, the housing market, education, sport, in public places),’ Ollongren said in her briefing.

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