Owners Outraged After Amsterdam Kosher Restaurant Attacked for Second Time by Syrian Migrant
A Syrian migrant attacked a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam for the second time in a row on Friday after being found by a judge to have diminished responsibility for his previous attack.
According to Dutch newspaper Het Parool, the HaCarmel restaurant’s window was smashed and an Israeli flag set on fire by a man identified as Saleh Ali, 31, who had attacked and vandalized the restaurant in 2017.
David Bar-On, whose family owns the restaurant, said it was lucky the burned flag was made of synthetic material and “didn’t catch fire in the restaurant itself, otherwise the whole thing would have been on fire.”
The suspect was arrested at the scene and was quickly discovered to be the same man who smashed a window in 2017, stole an Israeli flag, and vandalized the restaurant with eggs and mayonnaise.
Although he was charged in the attack, a judge made a finding of diminished responsibility.
Saleh Ali’s attacks on HaCarmel were not the only ones. Previous violent acts have included a fake bomb and graffiti. The owners are frustrated by the lack of effective action by the authorities.
Sami Bar-On, father and partner of co-owners Daniel and David, said, “This is the umpteenth time. What can you do about it? I have always said it is getting worse. And the authorities keep saying that it is not terror but that the perpetrators are crazy.”
“It’s almost becoming normal,” David said.
Dutch Jewish organization the Centraal Joods Overleg (CJO) said of the attacks, “Five incidents in two years are no longer a coincidence, no confusion, no arbitrary vandalism. We can’t look away anymore. If a kosher restaurant is no longer safe, something is very wrong. This is an act of pure antisemitism.”
The CJO demanded that the attack be classified as antisemitic and the perpetrator given a severe punishment this time.
A statement released by the police made no mention of antisemitism, simply saying the “investigation into motives … is in full swing.”