An independent committee inquiry has cleared Prof. Paul Cliteur, from the Law Faculty of the University of Leiden, and his associates of accusations of antisemitism.
The recent investigation was initiated after a Dutch right-wing political party, Forum for Democracy, in which Mr Cliteur held a prominent position, disbanded. Last November, the Party’s leader, Thierry Baudet, faced significant backlash following the exposure of extremist and hateful statements in the youth section of the organisation.
Mr Cliteur maintained his membership and stated that he was “in solidarity with Baudet and his ideological line”.
A publication followed in which twenty-seven former doctoral students of Mr Cliteur claimed that the professor had failed to take action against antisemitic statements made directly by Mr Baudet. Mr Baudet has received criticism for several inflammatory and offensive remarks, including the comment, “You are everywhere”, directed towards a Jewish individual.
A group of professors from Mr Cliteur’s faculty subsequently shared an open letter that claimed that antisemitism, xenophobia and anti-democratic attitudes are normalised and common in the Forum of Democracy, and shared by its members.
Following a two-month investigation, the Committee of Inquiry concluded that “the position of the [van Cliteur] Department”, and that of the Faculty of Law and the University of Leiden, had been “wrongly affected” by the allegations.