Sunday, October 12, 2014

Schomberg's Sukkah Shames Jewish Community

Taking Liberties

Fabrice Schomberg outside his home in The Hague. (Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA)
Sukkah Matters: Fabrice Schomberg outside his home. Cnaan Liphshiz for The times Of Israel
writes: “ ‘Resistance to my sukkah is not just about building permits,’ said Schomberg, a British-
born artist who has erected a sukkah outside his door for the past three years. ‘There’s a wider
context.’ That context includes three demonstrations this summer, all featuring flags of the ISIS
jihadist group; two included calls to murder Jews. A few dozen people attended each of the rallies.
The city has since banned all demonstrations in Schilderswijk.”

Photo Credit: Cnaan Liphshiz; JTA
Source: Times of Israel
 An article, by in The Times of Israel shows that the putting up of a sukkah (a temporary dwelling erected for eight days  to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot) is considered a provocative act in a Dutch neighbourhood populated chiefly by Muslims, and yet this neighbourhood is in reality part of the Netherlands whose laws ostensibly advocate religious freedoms.

Lipshiz writes:
For the tour guides that lead visitors through the Van Ostade Housing Project, Fabrice Schomberg’s sukkah is one of the few signs of the neighborhood’s Jewish roots.
Built in the 19th century for impoverished Jews, the enclave today is surrounded by the largely Muslim neighborhood of Schilderswijk, an area that the Dutch media have taken to calling the “Sharia Triangle,” referring to Islamic religious law. Fewer than 10 Jewish residents remain and, aside from Schomberg’s sukkah, there are virtually no markers of the area’s Jewish past.

Now even the sukkah’s fate is in doubt. After weeks of negotiation with the city, Schomberg was informed that he could build his sukkah only on condition that he dismantle it by 9 o’clock each night. According to Schomberg, the police had advised the city against allowing a sukkah at all, since it might invite Muslim vandalism.

To Schomberg and his supporters, the city’s reluctance to allow a sukkah in Van Ostade is emblematic of the Dutch approach to the rise of Muslim fundamentalism — urging targeted communities to keep a low profile rather than standing up for individual freedoms. But others fault Schomberg, alleging that he has used religion to stir conflict at the community’s expense.
This scenario surely shows that Jews, in reality, do not have religious freedom in The Netherlands. Moreover, the Jewish community in this nation is not willing to fight to retain such freedoms that their ancestors fought to obtain;
In September, the board of the Jewish Community of The Hague informed Schomberg that he was banned from entering any of the city’s Orthodox synagogues until 2016 because “his behavior has endangered the community.” Schomberg said he was told by the Reform community that he was not welcome there either.
This is what happens when Jews do not protect their interests. It is shameful that the Jewish community in The Hague has capitulated to hate and fear. Mr. Schomberg is asserting his rights and ought to be supported and not castigated for his actions. As for citizens of The Hague, their silence on the matter is disappointing, but not surprising; they capitulated long time ago. Is the policy of zayn styl fashionable once again?

For more, go to [TOI].