You would think that Job Cohen, formerly mayor of Amsterdam, would be intimately aware of these problems. He is, after all, known for wanting to 'keep the lot together', for not wanting to create a divided society.
But to everyone's astonishment it was Job Cohen who declared Muslims the modern Jews. As NIS news reports (via Esther):
Muslims are excluded from present-day Dutch society, as also happened with Jews in the 1930s, in the view of Labour (PvdA) leader Job Cohen.This didn't go over well at all, especially in light of a whole slew of reports about Jews and homosexuals being verbally and physically abused, even to the point of being forced to move, as was the case when a female gay couple decided to leave Amsterdam for Harderwijk (NL) after years of intimidation and abuse by Moroccan yoof.
Cohen drew the controversial comparison in an interview with Vrij Nederlands weekly. He links his views to the rise of Geert Wilders. In reaction, the Party for Freedom (PVV) leader rejected Cohen's criticism as "disgusting."
Cohen, himself Jewish, recounts how his mother experienced around the time of the outbreak of the Second World War that Jews were slowly being excluded. He also sees this alienation now in society.
Even De Volkskrant, a very left-wing newspaper, loyal to Labour, thought the statements by Cohen a bit too rich. Writer Shanty Ruby points out a few home-truths in an article entitled 'Job Cohens blind spot' (NL).
In his noble endeavours to avoid exclusion of our muslim brothers, Job Cohen has developed a blind spot for the increasingly precarious situation in which the two largest groups of victims of hate crime now find themselves. Amsterdam has been replaced as the gay Walhalla for years now by Berlin, Barcelona and Tel Aviv. Mokum [Yiddish designation for Amsterdam - KV] has been buried. The same minorities that were marginalized and discriminated by the Nazi's during the thirties are being oppressed once more.Job Cohen was hailed as the saviour of the PvdA (Labour) and the Netherlands at large, when he re-entered national politics just prior to the general elections of June this year. That has been somewhat of a disappointment. After this tremendous faux-pas it is unlikely he will still be around for the results of the next provincial elections, coming March. And thus, this episode may mark the end of a very short career as Labour leader for Job Cohen.
Gays no longer can walk the streets hand in hand and religious Jews have to hide their kippa under a cap. It is painful to have to establish that these two groups increasingly suffer under the discrimination and aggression by young members of exactly that minority on which Cohen is projecting "the Jews of old". By turning a blind eye for this reality Cohen inadvertently belittles the persecution of Jews, as was laid down in race laws of the thirties of the last century. That is what makes this skewed comparison hit even harder.