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Or so I heard: a guest on a Dutch talk show said something in that vein yesterday…
If anyone out there still has the courage and perseverance to follow Dutch politics: Wow! Impressive.
For those who haven’t (I personally don’t blame you): due to a weird construction, Dutch neo-Nazis now have the power to decide the fate of the current government, a coalition of Conservatives/Republicans (the American type) and Christian Democrats (definitely no liberals in the American sense).
Of course, every decent person in this country was worried, and still is. But some incidents over the past few weeks have turned the horror show at least into a horror comedy. The PVV (Wilders’ party) won a horrifying 24 seats in the last elections, which took place in June.
Being a populist extreme right-wing party, the PVV of course constantly beats the “law and order” drum… Usually with anti-immigrant overtones.
Of those twenty-four, at least seven MPs (a whopping 34% of their party in parliament) have criminal records: abuse, fraud, illegal firearms, you name it. The facts about three of them only became public knowledge over the past few weeks.
Because the PVV provides the 76th vote the government coalition needs, Mr Wilders has been twisting himself in knots to justify that he hasn’t kicked out any of these criminals.
Not to poop on the party, but: this isn’t just comedy, is it? It also is horror: is this our future? Will we be governed – if the current political trends in Europe and the US continue – by crooks?
Our situation is not all that different from the one in the US: the Tea Party is the American equivalent of the PVV. It’s a little scary that in the US these people can operate inside one of the two big political parties. But even that is – considering the different political systems – a lot more like the Dutch situation than it would seem at first sight.
Given the fact that America has in fact a two party system and the Dutch have ten parties (this time) in Parliament, it’s not too far-fetched to say that the two parties in the current Dutch government have the same kind of relationship with Wilders’ party as the Republicans have with the Tea Party. They simply need the votes.
Maybe I don’t need to mention that the Dutch government coalition, led by Conservative PM
Rutte, has ignored the matter of the criminal records that keep popping up like daffodils in spring.

Reageren mag natuurlijk ook in het Nederlands.

I won’t tweet, ever!

I never thought I’d be grateful to the ADL, but I am, for speaking out against Holland’s newest NaLi. What is a NaLi? Fair question.

In the twentieth century a certain Adolf Hitler misused the popularity of socialism to name his party National Socialist (which obviously is a contradictio in terminis) to suggest that he wanted the best for “the people”. The catch was, as we all know, that the definition of “people” excluded whole categories of human beings, like Jews, Gypsies (Roma), homosexuals, socialists, etc.). The “utopia” the Nazis promised, would just be for Aryans.

In the twenty-first century, a certain Geert Wilders uses the popularity of liberalism (remember though, that this means something different in Europe: basically “laissez-faire” economic policies) to lure people into thinking he wants the best for “the people”, so he named his party “Freedom Party”. His ideology is National Liberalism, also a contradiction in terms.  The catch is, obviously, that at least one category of human beings, namely Muslims, are excluded from the “benefits” of his liberalism: Mr Wilders’ “utopia” is only for non-Muslims (and who knows who is next on the list of people to be excluded).

So, Nalis. Thank you ADL, for not wanting Mr Wilders to speak on September 11th at Ground Zero. But there my gratitude ends. The ADL has thrown its considerable weight in the battle over the mosque/cultural center/swimming pool that is to be built near Ground Zero. Because a Muslim institution in that place would hurt the feelings of those who lost loved ones on 9/11.

Let’s first remember what ADL stands for: Anti-Defamation League. It started out as an Antisemitism watchdog and in that capacity has done wonderful things; later it expanded its scope to other kinds of defamation. So how is it possible that the ADL itself now participates in defamation? To suggest that any Muslim organization, regardless of its intentions, world view, etc. does not belong anywhere near the WTC-site, is playing into the hands of those who appeal to our worst instincts: THE Muslims are to blame for the horrible acts of terror that were perpetrated on September 11th, 2001.

So, even though the ADL distances itself from Wilders, it promotes the same attitude, which is a shandah, as we Jews say.

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