Amsterdam kosher eatery to close shop because of assaults
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Amsterdam kosher eatery to close shop because of assaults

Owner of HaCarmel says it is 'irresponsible' to continue unless city officials install permanent security for his business

A photo taken on December 7, 2017, shows the damaged storefront of kosher Jewish restaurant HaCarmel in Amsterdam. (GINOPRESS B.V./AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on December 7, 2017, shows the damaged storefront of kosher Jewish restaurant HaCarmel in Amsterdam. (GINOPRESS B.V./AFP/Getty Images)

AMSTERDAM — The owner of a frequently vandalized kosher eatery in the Dutch capital 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 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 as two police officers watched and took out an Israeli flag from inside the restaurant before they arrested him. He has been charged with vandalism in an indictment that does not include an aggravated element of a hate crime.

Since the incident, the restaurant’s windows were again smashed once 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. But a municipal spokesperson said that Bar-On has declined several offers by the city to have him meet lower-level officials.

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