‘#KeppelOp!’ — Dutch Jews Stage Kippah Demonstration Against Antisemitism in The Hague
Carrying signs urging an end to antisemitic hatred and waving Israeli flags, about 250 demonstrators on Wednesday gathered in the center of The Hague — where the government of The Netherlands has its seat — for a demonstration under the slogan, “#KeppelOp!”, Dutch for “kippah on!”
Called by the Dutch Jewish organization CIDI — the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel — the rally came in response to last week’s warning from the top official combating antisemitism in neighboring Germany that it was dangerous for Jews to wear “the kippah everywhere all the time.” The official, federal commissioner Felix Klein, later clarified that his comments were intended as a “call to action” against rising antisemitism.
The rally was addressed by Ferdinand Grapperhaus, the Dutch minister of justice and security, as well as parliamentarians from across the political spectrum. Speakers declared their solidarity with the Dutch Jewish community of approximately 30,000.
In a statement that followed Wednesday’s rally, CIDI urged Dutch political leaders to move beyond “just words.” The organization highlighted the low rate of reporting for antisemitic incidents, arguing that the government needed to encourage victims to come forward.
According to research by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency in 2018, only 25 percent of Jewish Dutch nationals who have been victims of antisemitism in the last five years reported their experience to the Jewish community or to the police.
In common with other European countries, The Netherlands registered a disturbing rise in antisemitic incidents during 2018. Over 200 incidents against Jews — including both real-world and online offenses — marked a 19-percent rise on the previous year’s statistics.