Dutch ruling party: Amsterdam Jews shouldn’t have to pay for security

(JTA) — Holland’s ruling party supports increased funding for the physical protection of Jewish institutions in Amsterdam.

“Amsterdam must begin to shoulder some the costs connected with the protection of Jewish institutions like schools and synagogues,” read a statement posted on Tuesday on the website of the Amsterdam faction of the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, known by its Dutch acronym, VVD.


“VVD believes the city of Amsterdam should pay 200,000 euros annually,” the equivalent of $270,000, the statement said.

Currently, only one of the boroughs of Amsterdam – home to approximately 30,000 Jews — provides additional funding for security at Jewish institutions, at $180,000 annually, according to VVD. The Jewish community of Amsterdam estimates its annual expenditure on security at just over $1 million.

Stefan de Bruijn, an alderman representing VVD in the city, said the current level of support is not sufficient.

“The threat facing Jewish institutions is not anecdotal,” de Bruin wrote on website of the VVD’s Amsterdam faction. “We believe a structural problem demands a structural solution.”

He added: “Safety is a core task for government and must not come at the expense of the Jewish community. But currently, parents are charged about $1,300 annually per child enrolled in a Jewish school.”

The 2012 anti-Semitism monitor report of the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel documented 113 anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands, including six physical attacks.

The VVD and Labor Parties are joined in governing coalitions both in the national government and in Amsterdam’s municipal government; in the national government, VVD is the majority partner, and in Amsterdam, Labor is the majority partner. Amsterdam’s mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, belongs to the Dutch Labor Party.