Israeli President’s Plan to Attend Amsterdam Holocaust Museum Opening Sparks Controversy 

Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s planned attendance at the opening of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam on Sunday has sparked controversy, as a protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza is set to take place simultaneously.

Herzog was invited before the recent escalation of tensions triggered by the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, followed by Israel’s offensive in Gaza. The conflict has left many neighborhoods in ruins and resulted in casualties on both sides.

The museum, in a statement, acknowledged the questions raised by Herzog’s presence but emphasized that he represents the homeland of Dutch Holocaust survivors who later emigrated to Israel.

“We express our deep concern regarding the upcoming opening of the Dutch National Holocaust Museum, where Israeli President Herzog is scheduled to attend,” voiced the Dutch Jewish anti-Zionist organization Erev Rav. While honoring the memory of Holocaust victims, the group expressed its inability to remain indifferent amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Nicaragua recently submitted an application to the International Court of Justice, joining South Africa in accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians. 

Some of Herzog’s past remarks, attributing responsibility to “an entire nation” for the October 7 attack, have been cited by South Africa in its lawsuit. 

Herzog has emphasized Israel’s determination to continue the fight “until we break their backbone.”

The Gaza war, triggered by the October 7 attack, has seen significant casualties. 

According to Israeli tallies, 1,200 people were killed, and 253 were taken hostage. In contrast, Gaza’s health ministry reported that at least 30,960 Palestinians have been killed, and 72,524 have been wounded in Israel’s retaliatory offensive.

Despite the controversy surrounding Herzog’s attendance, Dutch King Willem-Alexander is scheduled to meet with the Israeli President on Sunday, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will also be present at the museum’s opening. 

Chioma Kalu