Dutch Jews Slam Far-Right MP Who Stated ‘You Cannot Claim World War II’
Dutch Jews have vociferously condemned a speech given by a far-right member of the Netherlands parliament in which he stated that Jews “cannot claim” World War II.
In an address on Wednesday, Thierry Baudet of the far-right Forum voor Democratie (FvD), which has four MPs, argued that “World War II is not owned by a specific group.”
Earlier in the week, in a tweeted response to calls from the Dutch Jewish community for parliamentarians to condemn the appropriation of Holocaust imagery by COVID-19 vaccine refusal activists, Baudet placed the word “Holocaust” in quotation marks, adding “the war is not yours, it belongs to all of us.”
Baudet doubled down on this position in his speech to parliament. He noted that the topic of World War II “is a very interesting, very complex, question in history but it is not owned by a certain group or ethnicity.” He also refused to apologize for putting the word “Holocaust” in quotation marks, saying that he was merely quoting someone else.
Baudet’s comments were slammed as “disgusting” by Ronny Naftaniel of the Centraal Joods Overleg, the umbrella organization representing the Jewish community in the Netherlands.
“It is extremely inappropriate,” Naftaniel said. “Of course we are not talking about claiming World War II. We are talking about the suffering inflicted on the Jewish people. I can tell you that in my community people feel sick.”
Aron Vrieler — a spokesperson for CIDI, a pro-Israel Dutch organization — remarked that Baudet’s quotation marks around his reference to the Holocaust along with his talk about “claiming” amounted to “exactly the same antisemitic dog whistles as the extreme left, extreme right and radical Islam have been pushing since World War II.”