Dutch Journalist’s Purim Prank Makes Waves

20 Mar 2019

Dutch Jews were shocked to read a column by the editor of the country’s main Jewish weekly announcing that she is leaving for Israel because of rising anti-Semitism.

“I am leaving for the only country where getting called a dirty Jew simply means I have to take a bath,” wrote Esther Voet, editor-in-chief of Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad. Voet allowed the column to make waves for a while before announcing that it was a Purim prank.

The joke and readers’ reactions reflect deep concerns about the future of the Netherlands, where anti-Semitic incidents have grown to record numbers. Three people in Utrecht were recently killed by a Turkish immigrant in a suspected terrorist attack.

Among those who fell for the prank was Paul Tang, head of the Dutch Labor Party at the European Parliament. “What a shame, for many reasons,” Tang wrote on Twitter before wishing Voet “good luck and success in your new place.”

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