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Gaza Protest Greets Israel’s President At Dutch Holocaust Museum

Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s attendance at the opening of a Holocaust museum in Amsterdam sparked protests over Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Activists advocating for a ceasefire gathered in a square near the National Holocaust Museum in the city’s Jewish quarter.

Among the demonstrators were individuals of Jewish descent.

Protesters displayed both Palestinian and Israeli flags.

According to Dutch media outlet De Telegraaf, some protesters climbed onto police vans, prompting riot police to intervene and disperse them as they began throwing fireworks and eggs.

Signs were visible with messages such as “Jews against genocide” and “The grandchild of a Holocaust survivor says: Stop the Gaza Holocaust.”

The museum stated that it had extended the invitation to Mr. Herzog before the Hamas attack on October 7th, which preceded Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza.

In a statement, the museum acknowledged that Mr. Herzog’s presence raised concerns but emphasized that he represented the homeland of Dutch Holocaust survivors who had relocated to Israel.

During his speech, Israel’s president remarked that the museum would serve as a reminder of the atrocities fueled by hatred, antisemitism, and racism. He lamented the current resurgence of hatred and antisemitism worldwide, asserting the need for collective action against it.

Mr. Herzog also called for the “immediate and safe return” of hostages abducted by Hamas during the October 7th attacks.

The opening ceremony was attended by Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and the president of the German Federal Council, Manuela Schwesig, who faced jeers from the crowd upon their arrival.

Addressing Dutch Holocaust survivors at a nearby synagogue, King Willem-Alexander emphasized the museum’s significance in illustrating the devastating consequences of antisemitism.

The Holocaust Museum is set to open to the public on Monday, nearly 80 years after the end of World War Two. It will showcase 2,500 artifacts never before displayed to the public.

Before the Nazi occupation, the Netherlands was home to a sizable Jewish community of approximately 140,000 individuals. Tragically, an estimated 75% of them—about 102,000 people—perished during the Holocaust.

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