Dutch watchdog registers increase in sports-related anti-Semitism

THE HAGUE (JTA) — A rise in sports-related anti-Semitism led to a slight  increase in the overall number of anti-Semitic incidents documented last year in the Netherlands, a Dutch-Jewish watchdog group reported.

In its annual monitor report on anti-Semitism, released Thursday, the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, counted 114 cases in 2012 compared to 113 cases the previous year. Thus, “2012 put an end to a two-year decline registered in 2010 and 2011 in the overall number of anti-Semitic incidents,” CIDI said in the report.

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Sports-related incidents accounted for ten percent of the total figure in 2012 compared to less than five percent the previous year. Six of the cases documented in 2012 involved violence or physical intimidation compared to four incidents in 2011.

Two people told CIDI they intended to leave the Netherlands because of anti-Semitism, the report also said.

Earlier this month, Dutch Foreigner Minister Frans Timmermans said that “even in the city of Amsterdam, anti-Semitism is being justified because of real and perceived injustices in the Middle East.”

He added that “unfortunately, injustices in the Middle East are sometimes justified because of anti-Semitism: Radical people say that because there is anti-Semitism, they have the right to do what others wouldn’t agree with.”