December 23, 2015
Finkelstein comments: From my old friend Jelle Bruinsma, who also did the translation.
It’s a Dutch orthodox rabbi saying that antisemitism has become a Jewish hobby. I’ll roughly translate the most significant parts
‘The Center for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI) talks about a strong increase in antisemitic incidents in the Netherlands. These type
of reports make Lody van de Kamp, orthodox rabbi in Amsterdam, squirm: “Constantly the impression is given that it has become extremely dangerous as a Jew to live in this country. And that is so far from the truth.”
What do you have against the word antisemitism?
“For many Jews antisemitism has become a hobby – to believe in it and shout something about it. As Jews in the Netherlands we are really stuck in that role of playing the victim. So much so that for many this has become a second identity. But these people make a huge error in their thinking, because there is no rise in antisemitism. This has nothing to do with reality. There are Jews who think that all terrorists are Muslims, and therefore distrust every Muslim. That is the world upside-down, isn’t it? By holding on so strongly to the role of victim, and seeing antisemitism in everything, you cannot make any progress as a community.”
How do you see Jews holding on to the role of the victim?
“Examples aplenty. What to think of what recently happened in Amstelveen [a neighborhood near Amsterdam with a large Jewish community]? Jews protested against the proposed coming of a Refugee Shelter – something which in the weeks before was not accepted of the inhabitants of Woerden and Purmerend. They claimed that there might be some antisemites among the refugees, which would endanger local Jews. Whenever the word antisemitism is used, the debate is killed; it is such a heavily laden subject. On top of that, the media eagerly reports any noise on this topic. For example, I was recently called by the [extremely pro-Israel Christian public broadcasting network] EO, asking me if I knew of a family which, because of all this antisemitism, was about to emigrate from the Netherlands. I’m sorry, but I don’t know such families! The majority of Jews cultivates its role as the victim, simply because it is so comfortable. You point to others as the guilty ones and don’t have to look in the mirror. But eventually this damages the community, because it is a self-validating process.”‘
He goes on, less interestingly, to find the source of this Dutch Jewish disease in its secularism, which causes Jews to “connect their Jewish identity with other things, such as antisemitism or secular Zionism.”