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Snel, Jan Dirk

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Trouw - Netherlands | 28/03/2011

Football fans not anti-Semites

A player for the Dutch football club Ado Den Haag celebrated his team's win over Ajax Amsterdam with the battle cry: "We're going on a Jew hunt!" Dutch Jews now complain of growing anti-Semitism in the country. But historian Jan Dirk Snel gives a different interpretation to such cries in the daily Trouw: "In fact the anti-Semitism people complain about is really criticism of Israel. Those are two entirely different things. ... There are in fact signs that some Dutch Muslims do not distinguish between the state of Israel and Jews in general. ... That also happens in football. Ajax supporters call themselves Jews and wave the Israeli flag. Fans of clubs like Ado Den Haag then go on a 'Jew hunt'. Is that anti-Semitism? No, they're not talking about Jews, but about Ajax fans. Is it offensive? Yes, extremely so. ... Anti-Semitism must be fought, but this expression must not be misused for political goals. Only anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism."

NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | 20/11/2009

Queen must be allowed to talk openly

The right-wing liberal MP Arend Jan Boekestijn has resigned his seat in the Dutch parliament after giving reporters details about a conversation with Queen Beatrix. There is a regulation according to which to preserve the immunity of the head of state the Queen (who is head of the Dutch state) is not allowed to express opinions publicly. Historian Jan Dirk Snel criticises this regulation in the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad: "One can expect the head of state to follow the lead of the government in her views and to refrain from making controversial remarks. But within these limits she must have the freedom to express her opinion, as other members of the government do. … By enclosing the Queen in a cocoon and surrounding even the most banal remarks with the veil of secrecy she is left in a vulnerable position. Then it ceases to be a matter of immunity. … And by the way, [Queen Beatrix] would do well to tell the participants at the next meeting explicitly that they may talk to the media about it, or even ask them expressly to do so."

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