Dutch Christian daily Trouw’s vicious article about prenatal care in Israel entitled: “The chosen people have to be perfect”, provoked a furious response from HonestReporting readers.
According to Yochanan Visser, the author of our guest post:
Thanks to HonestReporting, Trouw received e-mails from places far beyond the borders of Holland. This was the first time in the history of Dutch media a thing like this happened.
Such was the level of anger that Trouw was forced to respond after the story was picked up by the Jerusalem Post:
Willem Schoonen, the editor- in-chief of Trouw, denied the article is anti-Semitic, in a telephone interview on Monday.
He said the paper got “loads of e-mails on the story, negative e-mails.”
When asked why the readership response was negative, he said for the same reasons of anti-Semitism that are being leveled against the paper. He flatly denied the article is bashing the Jewish state, and said van Heusden wrote about “experiences from a pregnant woman coming from a different background” and dealing with a “new chapter in Israeli society.”
“Anti-Semitic reporting is not the way to win a new readership. Certainly for us,” said Schoonen, speaking from Amsterdam.
Political and media commentator Tom Gross told the Post on Monday that “by standing by the article the editor of Trouw is on very dangerous ground here.”
“He seems to be ignorant of the classic centuries-old anti- Semitic stereotypes about ‘the chosen people’ and linking Jews to money, and to the blood of Christian children.
“This is particularly disturbing coming as it does in the Netherlands. Contrary to popular myth, Holland had one of the highest levels of collaboration with the Nazis in Western Europe. 75 percent of the country’s Jews were murdered, a much higher percentage than countries like Belgium and France.”
Thanks to the action of our subscribers, Trouw will certainly think twice before publishing such appalling material again and Dutch media has been put on notice that it can no longer act with impunity when it comes to reporting on Israel.
This may be the first time in history that this has happened to the Dutch media. With your help, it won’t be the last and, with the help of partner organizations in Europe, hiding content behind non-English languages will no longer shield foreign media from being held accountable.