THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — A Dutch Muslim group is planning to commemorate “the ethnic cleansing of Palestine” on Holland’s memorial day for victims of Nazism.
The Platform Bewust Moslim group, whose name means “Platform Aware Muslim,” is planning to hold the ceremony on May 4 in Hilversum near Amsterdam under the banner ”Palestine, the Shadow Holocaust,” the Jewish television channel Joods Omroep reported on its website Monday.
The event was advertised as a symposium offering “a review of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the passive attitude of the international community” and is slated to take place at Hilversum’s Al-Amal mosque.
May 4 is the Netherlands’ official day for Remembrance of the Dead, when official commemorations are held for Dutch civilians and members of the armed forces killed by enemy forces, in terrorist attacks or in combat. The date was selected after World War II and many of the events held on May 4 are designed to commemorate victims of Nazism, often with an emphasis on victims of the Holocaust.
The municipality of Hilversum has received 45 objections urging it to prevent or postpone the event, Joods Omroep reported. Some complaints also were made to the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, a watchdog group based in The Hague. Hilversum Mayor Pieter Broertjes told the Joods Omroep he is discussing the relevant issues with organizers, “including the possibility of postponement.”
One of the complainants is Jack Justus, who was among the leaders of campaign that ended with the issuing of an injunction in 2012 which forbade the town of Vorden from going ahead with plans to memorialize German soldiers on May 4 along with their victims as a gesture which organizers said was meant to promote world peace and reconciliation.
Justus and Federative Jewish Netherlands — the Jewish group that obtained the injunction — said that commemorating soldiers of the Third Reich along with their victims was immoral because it blurred the moral distinction between perpetrators and victims of genocide.
But “the Hilversum commemoration tops it all,” Justus told the Joods Omroep. “It’s an enormous insult to victims, survivors and their descendants.”
Separately, the eastern Dutch town of Landerd has cancelled plans to unveil on May 4 a memorial plaque for a German pilot who was shot down over the town during World War II, the Omroep Brabant reported Monday. The cancellation came after a complaint by Federative Jewish Netherlands.