Dutch city allows PRC event but bans counter-march
THE MAYOR of Rotterdam has come under fire after he allowed a conference to take place last weekend organised by the London-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), but refused permission for a counter-protest.
Israel outlawed the PRC in 2010 over alleged affiliations with Hamas, and a 2011 report by the German Interior Ministry stated: “Hamas does not operate openly in Europe. Instead it uses, for instance, the Palestinian Return Centre in London as a forum.”
The PRC organised an event at the House of Lords last year at which audience members compared Israel to Daesh terrorists and suggested Jews were to blame for the Holocaust.
The conference went ahead despite protests from Jews and senior Dutch politicians. However, a silent countermarch by Christians for Israel, planned to take place outside the conference venue, was refused permission.
The Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, had been urged by Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs to cancel the conference. Rabbi Jacobs said the mayor had refused but promised that “a few of his people” would be present to “make sure nothing antisemitic will happen or will be said”.
The mayor later said the conference had been authorised by the Dutch National Co-ordination Board for Counterterrorism and Security, though a spokesperson for the group reportedly denied this.
The Israeli Embassy in the Netherlands issued a rebuke, saying: “The silent march in Rotterdam, which is the least one can and should do against those who preach hate, extremism and terror, was not allowed to take place.”
Among the speakers at the PRC conference was Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Lebanon-born activist who was fired by Belgian daily De Standaard in January for defending violent attacks on Jewish Israelis. After a truck was driven into a group of IDF soldiers in Jerusalem, he wrote on Twitter: “An attack on occupation soldiers in occupied territory is not terrorism! It is an act of resistance. #FreePalestine.”
Among the speakers was JahJah, who defended a terror attack