Motorists threaten Dutch chief rabbi

Cnaan Liphshiz

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs filed a  complaint with police against two men whom he said tried to intimidate him at a gas station.

Jacobs, chief rabbi of the Interprovincial Rabbinate for The Netherlands, filed the complaint last week after two men on Nov. 5 drove a BMW car in his direction in a sudden manner which Jacobs said was meant to intimidate him.

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“I was putting in fuel and noticed two men, who had a Middle Eastern appearance, watching me from their car nearby,” Jacobs told JTA. “When I walked past their car to pay, they started the car and lunged in my direction, laughing. It was clear that they had waited to do this with the intention of at least scaring me, if not worse.”

Jacobs dresses in haredi Orthodox garb, making him identifiable as  Jewish.

Jacobs’ home was targeted several times in recent years by individuals who threw stones at its windows. The last attack happened during Israel’s summer conflict with Hamas in Gaza and prompted police to install security cameras around Jacobs’ home, located 30 miles east of Amsterdam.

“The current government is very clear in speaking against anti-Semitism and this is a good thing,” Jacobs said. “And while panic over anti-Semitism is not called for, we must recognize that there is growing anti-Semitism and report each incident because this is how we can combat the phenomenon.”