(The Hague, Netherlands) – You wouldn’t think that a terrorist organization branded as “too radical” by Al-Qaeda would have many supporters.
You wouldn’t think that a terrorist organization responsible for over-running and capturing multiple Iraqi cities would have many supporters.
You wouldn’t think that a terrorist organization responsible for committing a war crime – executing 1,700 Iraqi security forces – would have many supporters.
Twice this month, The Hague saw demonstrations in favor of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – a Sunni Islamic Fundamentalist group responsible for capturing a wide swath of territory covering both Iraq and Syria. In this commandeered territory, ISIS has begun implementing its 7th Century version of Sharia law.
Complicating matters is ISIS’ name. The group recently chose to change its name (again). Originally known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), there was also some debate about its use of the name Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The most recent name change has them being called IS – short for Islamic State.
“That’s very confusing,” said a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton (D-AR), speaking on condition of anonymity. “We’re not sure why they chose to shorten the name at this time. And we don’t even know what the definition of ‘IS’ is.”
Of grave concern to some is the main focus of these demonstrations. Not so much for the pro-ISIS crowd. Not so much for the pro-Palestinian crowd trying to show solidarity with Hamas as it battles Israel in Gaza. Rather, the main focus seems to be plain, old-fashioned anti-Semitism.
“The gatherings were definitely not pro-Islamic Fundamentalist,” confirmed an eyewitness, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Instead, the participants seemed to be going after Jews. With a vengeance.”
According to eyewitnesses to the July 4 and July 24 demonstrations, phrases such as “Maut al-Yahud” (“Death to the Jews”) were used. Additionally, demonstrators advocated the murder of “dirty Jews from the sewers.”
These phrases haven’t been publicly uttered here since Hitler and Nazi Germany lost its grip on the country during the last days of World War II.
“I mean, we use them every day,” said a Dutch resident, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We’re just not stupid enough to use them outside where the mainstream media can hear us and tell us we’re anti-Semites. We know we’re anti-Semites. We just don’t like to advertise it.”
Other local residents downplayed the seriousness of the anti-Semitic remarks.
“We don’t hate Jews here, and we don’t want to kill Jews here, we just like to say that!” exclaimed a local shopkeeper, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“We welcome everyone here,” said another local resident, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We don’t care who they are. They can be sewer-dwelling Jews or non-sewer-dwelling Jews. Quite frankly, I think the whole ‘sewer’ thing and the ‘death to Jews’ thing is being taken completely out of context.”
The Hague’s mayor, Jozias van Aartsen, has thus far refused to ban such demonstrations – or condemn them.
“Mayor van Aartsen has it on good authority from the police that the facts have been exaggerated,” said a van Aartsen spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There were, at most, 40 or 50 demonstrators, and nothing offensive was said. If there had been 51 or more protestors, the police would have done something about it. But the police – and the mayor – don’t consider a group of 50 to be a problem.”
van Aartsen’s stance is perhaps most surprising because of the Netherlands’ famous Jewish resident – Anne Frank. While Frank died at the hands of the Nazis – along with approximately 100,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands during the Holocaust – the house where she hid from the Nazis for most of World War II, the Anne Frank House, survives today as a memorial and museum in Amsterdam.
The Anne Frank House got a serious shot of recognition on April 12, 2013, when clueless celebrity Justin Bieber wrote in the official guest book that he hoped Frank “would have been a Belieber.”
But van Aartsen isn’t standing alone, as many celebrities have come forward to support his stance on anti-Semitic demonstrations. Mel Gibson has agreed to volunteer his time by paying off the local non-Jewish police to look the other way during the demonstrations.
And Gabriel Diaz, the 26-year-old New York City cab driver who was suspended for wearing a Nazi armband while picking up fares, has volunteered to shuttle demonstrators to and from the protest sites.