Paris, 12 February 2022

In an open letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, congratulated his election to a fourth term.

In the letter, he recalled: “The late Simon Wiesenthal would often express his appreciation for three countries:
- The United States, that liberated him from the Nazi camp of Mauthausen;
- Israel where – after losing 87 in the Holocaust – a new family was born;
- The Netherlands, in the 1950’s organized a ‘radiothon’ fundraiser that brought in the means for his continued pursuit to bring war criminals to justice.”

“I had the honour to accompany Simon to Middelburg, where he received the 1990 Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award, presented by Queen Beatrix,” noted Samuels.

“Mr. Prime Minister, Simon viewed youth as the hope for the post-war future. He would have been shocked at a reprehensible act of antisemitism on campuses in today’s Holland.

“‘The Rights Forum' – apparently a Palestinian lobby – has called on Dutch universities to provide lists of contacts with Israel and Jewish institutions and businesses. Dutch and foreign-based Jewish organizations not necessarily related to Israel were similarly added. These ironically include your Government’s National Coordinator in the Fight Against Antisemitism!

“The Rights Forum was apparently co-founded by one of your predecessors, former Prime Minister Dries van Agt. Indeed, according to JTA correspondent, Cnaan Liphshiz, in a 2008 interview, Mr. van Agt reportedly compared Israel with Nazi Germany... adding that the Jews ‘should have been given a piece of land in Germany,’ not in Israel.

“Mr. Prime Minister, we urge you to condemn The Rights Forum for bringing to Dutch universities a climate of hate and intimidation, reminiscent of last century’s ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ – a fabricated screed forged by officials of the Tsarist Russian secret police, and well described as ‘a warrant for genocide.’

“We understand that 13 Universities have complied to this outrageous demand so far. They must be appropriately cautioned against drafting lists targeting Jews. This list is reminiscent of the Dutch Nazi collaborators, who were instrumental in deporting over 100,000 Jews.

“Mr. Prime Minister, we believe in the other Netherlands that supported Simon Wiesenthal’s mission,” concluded Samuels.