newsAntisemitism

Activists harass Dutch woman over daughter’s IDF service

Hamas supporters came looking for Shirli at her workplace and home.

Amsterdam. Credit: Pexels.
Amsterdam. Credit: Pexels.

A Dutch Jew from the Amsterdam area was harassed at her apartment and workplace by pro-Palestinian activists because of her daughter’s reserve service in the Israel Defense Forces, an antisemitism watchdog organization said on Wednesday.

“A Dutch-Jewish mother, whose daughter serves in the IDF, received an unwelcome visit to her home in Amstelveen: 3 unknown people appeared at her door and called her a child murderer,” tweeted the Center for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI) lobby group.

The three anti-Israel activists filmed the woman with their smartphones and kept screaming that she should be ashamed of herself and telling her to leave the Netherlands, according to the organization.

“This appalling incident is a direct consequence of the witch-hunt that has been called for on social media in recent times: A Jewish mother is now no longer safe in her own home. Where does this stop?” asked CIDI.

Shirli, a Dutch-Israeli nurse whose last name is being withheld for her safety, told the country’s NOS public broadcaster that Wednesday’s incident wasn’t the first attempt to intimidate her and her family.

The incidents in the heavily Jewish suburb of Amstelveen followed weeks of incitement through flyers and social media posts over the daughter’s role in the war against Hamas in Gaza.

“Residents beware, a child murderer lives in the neighborhood. This genocidal maniac returned from her murderous activities in Israel and will soon be tried,” one flyer read, featuring photos of Shirli’s daughter. “Her mother sent her bitch daughter to kill babies; she is an accomplice,” continued the leaflet, which gave her address.

In response, pro-Palestinian activists came looking for Shirli at her workplace. “They shouted: ‘Where is Shirli? She is a child murderer.’ And then they roamed the building with Palestinian flags,” she said, adding that while she was absent from work that day, the incident shocked her.

Shirli’s full name started circulating on social media after Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Belgian activist with links to the Hezbollah Lebanese terrorist group, and his 30 March Movement called on their combined 50,000 X followers to help identify IDF personnel with European passports.

Late last year, Abou Jahjah announced he would be pursuing legal action against Israelis “participating in the Gaza genocide or other crimes in Palestine.” He has so far targeted 16 current and former IDF soldiers, and this writer.

Shirli’s daughter has dual Dutch-Israel citizenship and completed her mandatory service in the IDF, the De Volkskrant daily reported. She was called for reserve duty in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

Dutch police confirmed to NOS that an incident was reported “in which a woman was approached in an intimidating manner in front of her home in Amstelveen.” A spokesperson told the broadcaster that authorities are opening a criminal investigation.

Reports of antisemitic incidents spiked in the Netherlands following the Oct. 7 attacks, CIDI reported in November. The organization said the number of reports it received in the first weeks of the war was 818% higher than the monthly average recorded over the past three years.

“It concerns me greatly that people with a Jewish background are now being harassed because of that background, and because of the situation in Israel,” outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday. “Things are really going in the wrong direction.”

Over the weekend, Dutch Jewish musician Lenny Kuhr, who won the Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands in 1969, received security protection after pro-Palestinian protesters heckled the 74-year-old singer with chants of “terrorist” and “murderer.”

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