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Treatment of Minorities

Treatment of Minorities

Expert studies point to a significant increase in Xenophobia, both within the “indigenous” population and among the non-indigenous, primarily Muslim, minority. In 2015, 35% of Dutch residents said they do not like Muslims.

String immigration policy and rhetoric in the media are aggravating negative sentiments towards immigrants. According to Dutch journalist and activist, Alex de Jong “the link between ‘Islam’ and social rights is indicative of the ideological evolution of the PVV; a few years before, ‘Islamization’ was supposedly one of several problems facing Dutch society. By 2010 it had become the root cause of social problems, of crime, of the national deficit, of deteriorating social services” . In other words, his racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia work to stir up popular dissatisfaction and anger and direct it at scapegoats. Economic threat is defined in terms of immigrant labor, whether Moroccans or, more recently, immigrants from Eastern Europe. According to polls, only 20% of Dutch respondents believe that the UN Convention on Refugees should be fully implemented, allowing refugees to settle in Europe. 52% believe that the current policy of granting asylum in the Netherlands makes it too easy for terrorists to enter the country, 45% are convinced that the policy towards refugees in general should be “toughened”. According to a poll published on September 17, 2015, 28% of Dutch people believe that their country is overpopulated, and therefore it is necessary to prohibit any immigration, even from EU countries. Answering another question - about the possible economic effect of settling in the Netherlands 9 000 additional refugees, 47% of respondents considered that their impact on the economy of the country would be negative.

Recent poll from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), reported an increase in anti-Semitic views in the Netherlands from 5 percent in 2014 up to 11 percent in 2015. In August 2015, the Dutch authorities recommended that the chief rabbi of the country, Binyamin Jacobs, avoid traveling on international trains, because of the danger of terrorist attacks. Jacobs himself, who was formerly called the “bridge builder” between the faiths, notes that in the light of the sharp rise in anti-Semitism that has engulfed Europe since the early 2000s, bridging has become a problem - “many elements are not suitable for construction”.

Even more dangerous is the emerging tolerance for anti-Semitism in society. When, in October 2015, a representative of the World Wide Relief Salafist Foundation, Younes Owally, offered to attack Israeli tourists on his website, he was invited to Pau's popular talk show “explain his thoughts.” Platform Against Racism invited Palestinian activist Khanin Zoabi, known anti-Israeli statements, to speak at the annual memorial meeting in memory of “Kristallnacht” - the all-German pogrom of the Jews in November 1938.

There is a deterioration in the attitude towards LGBT people. According to the SCP research centre, 35% consider the sight of men kissing in public undesirable. 40% of LGBT people think that their orientation is not accepted by others, 55% do not consider it possible to walk, holding a partner by the hand. About 20% of LGBT people said that they encountered negative statements or actions addressed to them, 40% said that, in their opinion, the situation is deteriorating.

Xenophobia is often converted into votes. The Freedom Party elections scored 15.5% of the vote in the 2010, becoming the third-largest force in parliament. In the 2012 elections, the number of votes cast for it dropped to 10%, but the party still remained the third largest number of seats in parliament. According to a recent poll of voting intention conducted by Peil.nl, the Freedom Party (PVV), of Wilders took 42 seats; which represents a week-on-week increase of one seat and is 27 seats more than the party won in the country’s 2012 general election. Holland’s governing People’s Party-Labour Party (VVD-PvdA) coalition scored 27 seats in the poll, compared to the 79 they took in the last election. GroenLinks (Green Party) scored 16, which is increase of 12 seats in comparison to the last election.

However, the 2017 parliamentary elections turned out to be a cold shower for the Freedom Party: it increased its representation only by 4 mandates, which absolutely did not meet the expectations of both the observers and the radicals themselves. According to experts, in this case, the ruling People's Party for Freedom and Democracy was able to competently adopt the slogans of the ultra-right and convince its constituents that it would toughen its policy towards migrants. The voter chose not to take risks and voted for a less marginal party.

Meanwhile, the Dutch retain a high degree of tolerance for minorities in such areas as joint work or family life. According to the poll by Eurobarometer, 77% of Dutch people are positive about their Roma colleagues, 95% - African or Asian. 83% and 84% of the Dutch will not object to their son-in-law or daughter-in-law being a native of Asia or Africa. 96% agree that LGBT people should have the same rights as the rest, 91% support same-sex marriages, 55% are ready to accept their children having relationships with a transgender person.

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