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April 4, 2013 2:13 pm

Dutch PM on Anti-Semitic Video: “This Kind of Malice Calls for Forceful Responses from Society”

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Screen shot of program on Dutch TV. Photo: 2.

Israeli news website Arutz Sheva has come into possession of a letter written by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in late March. The organization had initially written the prime minister following the publication of a video which showed young Turkish immigrants in the country voicing extremely anti-Semitic views.

“We are taking vigorous action to tackle prejudice of this kind. The fight against antisemitism demands both public education and active intervention by civil society: by parents, schools, local government and the people of our neighborhoods and communities. Where criminal offences have been committed, action must be taken under criminal law. This kind of malice calls for forceful responses from society,” Rutte writes in part.

“The Dutch government has reached agreement with the Dutch Central Jewish Board (CJO) and the Dutch Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) on plans to discuss antisemitism with young people. We will also begin discussions with the Turkish Community Advisory Association on antisemitism within the Dutch Turkish community. These discussions will lay the basis for considering further action.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center had written a letter appealing to Rutte “to take action on a broad front to investigate the presence of anti-Semitic attitudes in Dutch society, and to take steps to vigorously combat the spread of those beliefs. Anti-Semitism cannot be allowed to flourish and poison the minds of the next generation.”

Mehmet Sahin, the doctoral student who interviewed the children, was forced into hiding following negative backlash from the Turkish immigrant community in the Netherlands.

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