Israeli president’s attendance to Holocaust museum opening ceremony met with protest in Netherlands


The National Holocaust Museum in the Netherlands had its grand opening on Sunday. The ceremony was attended by the Dutch king and Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Some people protested because of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

The people leading the protest said they didn’t want Herzog to be there, but they didn’t have a problem with the museum and what it stands for.

The museum in Amsterdam exhibits the histories of 102,000 Jews who were deported from the Netherlands and murdered in Nazi camps.It also tells about how they were persecuted by the German soldiers during World War II.

The museum helps people remember and understand the Jewish people who were treated badly in the Netherlands, the Dutch King Willem-Alexander said at the opening ceremony on Sunday. He also said it “teaches us about the serious results of hating Jews. “

The king said we need to keep remembering how things started and got even worse. Before, the king and the president of Israel went to the well-known Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam.

Herzog praised the Netherlands for starting a new Holocaust museum because he thinks there is more antisemitism in the world.

“At this very important moment, this institution is making a strong statement,” Herzog said. “Don’t forget the terrible things that happen when people hate others because of their religion or race. We should never let that happen again. “

The ceremony on Sunday happened while Israel was attacking Gaza after Hamas attacked southern Israel in October. “

Thousands of people who support Palestine came together at Waterloo Square in Amsterdam. They were waving Palestinian flags, shouting “Never again is now,” and asking for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands to stop and for the fighting in Gaza to end right away.

Joana Cavaco, who is against war,spoke to the crowd before the ceremony and said that these museums are important to the history of Jewish people. She said: “How is it possible that people are using such a holy place to make genocide seem normal today. “

Ninety percent of Dutch Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

The United Nations court told Israel to stop any killing,destruction, and genocide in Gaza. Herzog, an Israeli leader, was mentioned in the order. He said the International Court of Justice didn’t understand what he meant in the decision. Israel said no to accusations from South Africa in court that their military actions in Gaza are breaking the Genocide Convention.

“I felt really upset because they changed my words and only used small parts of what I said to support their case without any evidence,” Herzog said a few days after the decision.

A Dutch group, The Rights Forum, who support the Palestinians, said that Herzog’s visit is hurtful to the Palestinians who are unable to do anything while Israel hurts them and damages their land.

Before the museum opens on Sunday, the Jewish Cultural Quarter is worried about the war and its effects on the people in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.

It is worrying that the National Holocaust Museum is opening while the war is still going on. Our mission becomes even more urgent.

The museum is in a building that used to be a school for teachers. It was also used as a secret way for around 600 Jewish children to escape from the Nazis.

The exhibit has a big picture of a boy walking past dead bodies at Bergen-Belsen after the camp was freed, and things that remind us of the people who died there: a doll, a dress made from parachute material, and 10 buttons found at the Sobibor camp.

In one room, the walls are covered with lots of laws that were unfair to Jews. These laws were made by the German rulers of the Netherlands. They wanted to show how the Nazis, with help from Dutch workers,treated Jews as less than human before they were rounded up.

The museum tells the stories of people who were taken away from society, had no rights, were not protected by the law, were put in prison, separated from their families, and killed, said the king of the Netherlands.


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