US/World News

Amsterdam kosher eatery will close unless police curb vandalism

(JTA) – The owner of a frequently vandalized kosher eatery in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam said he will close it down unless city officials install permanent security measures outside his business. Sami Bar-On’s lawyer, Herman Loonstein, told the Het Parool daily Wednesday, May 9, that his client feels it is “irresponsible to go on like this” at HaCarmel restaurant without permanent security measures. In December, a 29-year-old Syrian asylum seeker smashed the restaurant’s window while holding a Palestinian flag. He then broke into the restaurant and grabbed an Israeli flag as two police officers watched before they arrested him. He has been charged with vandalism, but not a hate crime. Since the incident, the restaurant’s windows were smashed once more and are repeatedly spat on and smeared with garbage, Bar-On said. Police beef up security after each incident but leave shortly after, he said. Bar-On also claimed the mayor has refused to meet him on the issue. A municipal spokesperson said Bar-On has declined offers to meet lower-level officials.

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