August 22, 2012
Amsterdam Jewish community warns U.S. Jews of ‘dangerous’ Dutch politician
The chairman of the Jewish Community of Amsterdam asked a Dutch politician to warn U.S. Jews about a “dangerous” rightist Dutch legislator.
Ronnie Eisenman, chairman of the executive board of the Jewish Community of Amsterdam, or NIHS, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the “Amsterdam Jewish community regards [Dion] Graus as a danger for the interests of Dutch Jewish community.”
Graus, an advocate of a ban on ritual slaughter, is in charge of animal welfare for the Party for Freedom headed by Geert Wilders.
Eisenman said the statement was based on “the content of [Graus’] standpoints and his presentation” in debating ritual slaughter.
The message was “conveyed” to Wim Kortenoeven, another legislator, before Kortenoeven’s visit to to the U.S. earlier this month to meet with Jewish groups, Eisenman said on Twitter.
It is rare for Dutch Jewish community institutions publicly to state their positions on individual politicians or political parties.
In June, the Dutch Senate scrapped a ban on ritual slaughter that the lower house had passed last year. The law, tabled by the small Party for the Animals, had passed the lower house largely due to the support of the Party for Freedom—the country’s third largest.
Last month, the Party for Freedom pledged its commitment to legislating a ban in its platform for elections in September.
The Party for Freedom “was never prepared to go into a discussion with the Jewish community,” Eisenman also said.
In the U.S., Kortenoeven—who recently left the Party for Freedom—met with representatives of key Jewish organizations. He says he warned them about Wilders’ support for a ban on ritual slaughter.
Kortenoeven said he spoke with Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, and met with Orthodox Union representatives and other prominent Jewish American groups.