EUJS Denounces Antisemitic Witchhunt in Dutch Universities

The European Union of Jewish Students is appalled by reports indicating that more than a dozen Dutch Universities are engaging in a witch hunt reporting on their ties with Israeli and Jewish organisations.

In January 2022, the anti-Israel Dutch NGO The Rights Forum sent a letter to Dutch universities, requesting that their staff list interactions with Israeli and Jewish organisations. The Rights Forum’s director Gerard Jonkman declared to seek “institutional ties with Israel universities, institutions and businesses and with organisations that propagate support for the State of Israel.”

Singling out Jewish and non-Jewish organisations on the basis of their supposed relations to the State of Israel is deeply antisemitic. That The Rights Forum requested that interactions with the Dutch Government’s own’s National Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism be listed is proof of the completely irrational, conspiratorial and antisemitic nature of this letter. But that Dutch Universities complied with such request shows how much more training and work on combating latent antisemitism is needed.

In November 2018 the Netherlands adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, which clearly states that accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations is antisemitic. We urge the Dutch government and the Dutch Ministry of Education to promptly react against this antisemitic request and promote the use and implementation of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Elias Dray, EUJS President, declared: “Using antisemitic and conspiracy rethoric to harm Jewish organisations is not new. Such habits are supported by years of antisemitic and anti-Israel hatred, notably instigated by the Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which conceals its antisemitism behind so-called antizionism. But like Dutch Chief Rabbi remarked, that Dutch universities so swiftly agreed to a blatantly antisemitic request is the most alarming fact. We will continue to combat antisemitism everywhere it shows its ugly head!”

We reaffirm our support to the Dutch Jewish students and Jewish community, as well as to our partners targeted by this antisemitic witchhunt.