The Netherlands - Far-left party calls Holocaust event ‘racist’

- A Dutch far-left party called for the cancellation of the main Holocaust commemoration ceremony in the Netherlands, saying it was “inherently racist.”

The BIJ1 party, which defines itself as “anti-racist and de-colonialist,” made the call in a draft of its program for the municipal elections of March 2022 in Amsterdam, the news site reported last week.

During the official May 4 commemoration in Amsterdam for the victims of the Holocaust and the Dutch victims of World War II, “the Indonesian, Surinamese, Korean, Iraqi victims of the Dutch (or of the violence supported by the Netherlands) are not commemorated,” the draft text states.

As long as this is the case, “Amsterdam should not serve as a platform” for the event.

The appeal of the BIJ1 party, which, in the general elections last March, won one of 150 seats in parliament, sparked protest from Jewish associations. Ronny Naftaniel, vice president of the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands, declared that the call was “outrageous.”

“I really don’t understand what they mean by this,” Naftaniel said. “Is Remembrance Day ‘racist’? This accusation is actually racist. An outright insult to the relatives of the more than 100,000 murdered Jews in the Netherlands.”
Jazie Veldhuyzen
Jazie Veldhuyzen, a member of the BIJ1 party running for a seat on the city council, has since said the party has changed its position. He’s not really looking to have the event suppressed, but to “make it more inclusive,” he told broadcaster RTVNH.

BIJ1, led by Sylvana Simons, is one of two parties represented on Amsterdam’s city council in 2018 that refused to sign a joint declaration on the fight against antisemitism.

The party is also campaigning for a boycott of Israel, citing its commitment to Palestinian rights.