Beliefnet
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec. 11--(AP) Despite the Dutch reputation for tolerance, a monitoring group said Tuesday racism and discrimination have increased in both frequency and degree in recent years.

The Anne Frank Foundation of Leiden University, named for the Dutch girl whose diary became a literary standard of the Jewish holocaust, cited hundreds of incidents in which war monuments were damaged, Jewish graves defaced and immigrants assaulted. The study did not cover dozens of incidents after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, which it said "undeniably had a negative impact on the interethnic relations."

The researchers said there were reports of 345 incidents in 1999 and 406 in 2000, compared with an average of 300 over the past five years. The incidents were more violent and more focused on individuals than before, it said.

It attributed the rise in anti-Semitic incidents to the growing violence of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It also said extremist right-wing groups and political parties were gaining ground, while moderate groups were losing popularity.

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