Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti have been scrawled on buildings in Amsterdam on Friday.
Fans of the football (soccer) club of ADO The Hague are suspected of carrying out the attack in a targeted message ahead of a Sunday match against rival Amsterdam club of Ajax, who historically refer to themselves as the “Jews.” Ajax supporters like to refer to themselves as the Jews, or the super Jews, a nickname that has often led to anti-Semitic chanting by opposing fans
Among the vandalized structures was the statue De Dokwerker, which commemorates a general strike in 1941 to protest the rounding up of Jews by the Nazi occupiers of the city during World War II.
De Dokwerker sculpture and monument on the Jonas Daniël Meijerplein in Amsterdam, commemorated the February strike in 1941 when Dutch workers protested against the arrest of Jews. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Elsewhere in the city, walls have been sprayed with swastikas and with the letters JHK, or ”Jews have cancer.” The graffiti also states that 020 is not welcome in 070—a reference to the two cities’ postal codes.
“As a club, we emphatically oppose these incomprehensible actions. It is disrespectful and sad,” wrote Mattijs Manders, general manager of ADO The Hague, on the club’s website.
The World Jewish Congress condemned the vandalism and called for punitive measures.
“The vandalism carried out overnight in Amsterdam deserves unequivocal condemnation by both authorities and society at large. Any and all forms of hate speech and expressions are utterly unacceptable, even if carried out in sheer ignorance rather than blind hatred. It is also particularly offensive when the targeted structures include a monument dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust, and its victims and resisters,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer.
“It is all the more troubling that this despicable act was apparently perpetrated by soccer fans, who have blatantly and ignorantly lost sight of the fact that the spirit of sport is camaraderie, not hate speech,” said Singer. “Across Europe today, we are witnessing an inconceivable and worrying rise in anti-Semitism, racism, discrimination and xenophobia, clothed in extremist behavior and hooliganism, and we must be vigilant in addressing this.”
“We deeply appreciate the ADO football club’s immediate rejection and condemnation of this desecration and urge its leadership to take punitive measures against any supporters found to have been involved in this outrageous act, if it indeed emerges that this was the case,” he added.
Singer said “the World Jewish Congress will reach out to the Dutch Jewish community and to the football club’s leadership to engage them in the educational projects we have already developed with other football clubs.”