Dutch Jews distance themselves from pro-Israel politician’s Moroccan squibs

(JTA) — The umbrella group of Dutch Jewish communities condemned the rightist, pro-Israel politician Geert Wilders for asking supporters whether they wanted to see fewer Dutch Moroccans.

Wilders, the leader of the anti-Islam and anti-immigration rightwing Party for Freedom, made the reference to Moroccans on during rally for local elections Wednesday.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in The Hague, he asked whether his followers wanted more or less European Union involvement in Dutch politics, to which they replied “no.” Then he asked them whether they wanted more Moroccans in the country, and got the same answer.

“As representatives of the Jewish community of the Netherlands, we forcefully distance ourselves from his statements,” Jaap Fransman, the chairman of the Centraal Joods Overleg umbrella group said in a statement to media Thursday.

Earlier this week, a politician for the Dutch Labor party apologized for saying that similar statements by Wilders about Moroccans were reminiscent of Nazi ideologies and policies regarding Jews.

“Hitler is among us,” the Labor politician, Fouad Sldali, wrote. “In the figure of Geert Wilders. Hitler also thought that there should be fewer Jews. We will never forget that.”

He was reacting to Wilders’ wish for The Hague to be “a problem with fewer problems, and if possible, fewer Moroccans.”

Wilders said the apology came after his lawyer threatened to sue Sidali for defamation in civil court.

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