“The clear inference is that some shadowy Zionist/Jewish cabal is operating in the Dutch university system.”
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
More than a dozen Dutch universities have asked their staff to reveal their ties to Israeli and Jewish organizations, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
The requests — made over the past month — were made following the urging of The Rights Forum, a virulently antisemitic, pro-Palestinian advocacy group.
According to the JTA, a pro-Palestinian advocacy group called The Rights Forum sent the request to a number of universities in January. The requests were certified as a WOB request, which in the Netherlands is a freedom of information request that is binding on public and state-funded institutions.
A WOB request must be certified by the Dutch prosecution service, which the Forum’s query was.
The request was filed by Forum director, Gerard Jonkman, who claimed to be seeking documents or information regarding “institutional ties with Israel universities, institutions and businesses and with organizations that propagate support for the State of Israel,” according to JTA.
He listed dozens of entities, including the Israeli defense company Elbit and Christians for Israel.
Jonkman also listed a number of Jewish organizations whose missions are not directly related to Israel, such as the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands which is the umbrella organization for the country’s 30,000 Jews.
Jewish organizations accused Jonkman of trying to silence Jews, and questioned why the universities so easily cooperated.
“The clear inference is that some shadowy Zionist/Jewish cabal is operating in the Dutch university system. This reeks of antisemitism, but it comes as no surprise to me given this group’s reputation,” Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomim Jacobs said in a statement Wednesday, JTA reported.
“What really concerns me is the number of universities that were so compliant with such a transparently antisemitic request. It reminds us that most mayors cooperated during the occupation to pass on the names of their Jewish citizens to the Germans,” he added.
It wasn’t clear how Jonkman’s request received WOB certification or if the universities will ultimately pass along the requested information.
In 2019, the Forum helped launch the European Legal Support Center, an initiative aimed at “defending individuals and organizations that face false and defamatory accusations of antisemitism and repression because of their support for Palestinian rights and particularly for BDS measures to achieve these rights.”
According to NGO-Monitor, other Forum activities have included lobbying for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel.
The Forum was co-founded by Dries van Agt, who was prime minister of the Netherlands from 1977-1982. Van Agt has accused Israeli settlers of poisoning Palestinians and compared Israel to Nazi Germany.
Dutch Jews weathered a number of recent controversies, all in December.
The far-Left BIJ1 party has called for the cancelation of the country’s annual Holocaust commemoration ceremony, calling the event “inherently racist” and demanding a “more inclusive” remembrance.
Far-right politician Thierry Baudet was ordered by a Dutch court to remove four images he posted on social media which compared the government’s coronavirus measures to the Holocaust. The ruling, which Baudet is appealing, said his posts were “creating a breeding ground for anti-Semitism.”
A Dutch appeals court in the Hague ruled that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz could not be tried in the Netherlands for the deaths of six Palestinian children during the 2014 Gaza war.