Dutch ‘ISIS Is Zionist’ Civil Servant Escapes Punishment
A Dutch civil servant who said ISIS was a ‘Zionist’ conspiracy may keep her job, the country’s justice minister determined.
Minister Ard van der Steur made his decision public on Wednesday in a letter sent to parliament about the conduct of Yasmina Haifi, a former project leader at the ministry’s National Cyber Security Center.
In August, Haifi was suspended for writing on Twitter: “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name.” ISIS, or Islamic State, is a Sunni Muslim terrorist group.
Halfi has denied that she is anti-Semitic, and said she was targeting Israel, not Jews, in her tweet.
In February, a commission headed by Job Cohen, a former mayor of Amsterdam and former leader of the Dutch Labor Party, determined there was no grounds for dismissing Haifi.
Following the controversy around Haifi’s tweet, she left the Labor Party, where she had volunteered as an activist.
In his letter, van der Steur wrote that Haifi received a “suspended dismissal” and will be transferred from her former post. She will no longer be employed at the Dutch counter-terrorism unit under which her former department operated, but will work elsewhere within the ministry.
Van der Steur wrote the letter to answer queries by rightist lawmakers who demanded action against Haifi.
The committee for the Rights of Civil Workers headed by Cohen, who has Jewish roots, recommended reprimanding Haifi but determined she was protected from dismissal by freedom of speech laws.
Shortly after Haifi wrote her remark, Vice Premier Lodewijk Asscher called it “a classic form of anti-Semitism.”
In a letter sent to friends and family in August, Haifi denied she was anti-Semitic.
“I have always participated in activities against anti-Semitism,” she wrote. “I did not realize the load of the word Zionist/Zionism. In the Netherlands (and the rest of Europe) it equals ‘Jewish.’ I targeted the expansion policy of the State of Israel and not the Jewish people.”