Speaking to Arutz Sheva from the EJA conference in Poland, Rabbi Binyomin Jacobst, chief rabbi of the Inter-Provincial Chief Rabbinate of the Netherlands, says that the fight against anti-Semitism is an uphill battle.
Talking about anti-Semitism, as they are doing at the conference with European leaders, is important, but “I don’t know what the result will be. Because anti-Semitism is growing.”
He mentions that in Holland the situation is so severe that he has to have constant security provided by the government, and can’t even take public transit. Community institutions are also protected by soldiers.
While he is thankful he and the Jewish community are being protected, he laments the fact that in Holland “we live in a prison with soldiers in front of schools. It’s great they are [protecting us] but it’s ridiculous to have to. We never thought after the Second World War such a thing would happen.”
Rabbi Jacobst does not believe anti-Semitism can be completely eradicated because “it’s like a virus that constantly returns in a different way.”
However, he says “we should do everything we can.”
One of the answers is to teach about the Holocaust to teachers and to students.
He notes that in his country, “Today, it’s very difficult at some school to be able to talk about the Holocaust because of the Muslims. On the other hand, be careful. During the Second World War, 80 percent of Dutch Jewry was killed but there were no Muslims living at the time in Holland.”
He stresses that Holocaust education is essential because soon the memory of the Nazi genocide of six million Jews will fade from an event from not so long ago to past history.
He adds: “It’s not history, it’s happening today. Not the Holocaust, but the way people look at Jews and Israel,” adding that today “anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are the same.”
How can the battle against anti-Semitism be won?
“I wish there was a battle against anti-Semitism,” Rabbi Jacobst says. “I don’t see a battle. I see people getting worried. I see people coming together so talk about what can be done about it. A battle? Once the battle [happens], there won’t be a problem anymore.”