Searchlight - November 2008
An incident in Gouda, in the South of the Netherlands, in mid-September sparked off a furious debate in the media and parliament. In the incident, youth of Moroccan origin vandalised buses and robbed a driver at knifepoint. As a result, the bus company decided temporarily to stop driving through the small neighbourhood where the attack occurred.
When the right-wing populist Telegraaf, the Netherlands' biggest selling newspaper greeted these events with thick headlines, Geert Wilders, the chairman of the equally right-wing populist Freedom Party (PVV), was the first to react.
During a parliamentary debate on the government's budget, Wilders spoke about "Moroccans colonising the Netherlands." "They didn't come to integrate but to subdue the Dutch and rule over us!" he raged, adding "We lose our country to Moroccan scum that lives to taunt, spit at and beat up innocent people" (…) "They accept gladly our benefits, houses and doctors, but not our rules and values".
His fellow Freedom Party member and former Amsterdam police officer Hero Brinkman joined in to say that Gouda was "ravaged by an epidemic of Moroccan violence" while the PVV presented the government as a bunch of left-wingers drinking tea with Muslims rather than dealing with problems.
The government, claimed Wilders, had signed up for cultural capitulation and opted backwardness, for the "Islamic Intifada", before demanding "Out with the street terrorists, out with those who circumcise little girls, out with those who take revenge in the name of their family's honour… out with all migrants who misbehave."
Wilders painted a picture of a country divided into two peoples: the ruling elite and the victimised white folk. "My Netherlands", he bragged, "is the one of the people who pay the bills being robbed by Moroccan street terrorists".
In addition, he proposed that the Dutch army should be recalled from Afghanistan to restore order in the streets of Gouda and to "clean up other cities".
A motion from the PVV for the government to resign was unsuccessful when nobody backed it, although an MP from the right-wing liberal VVD also employed harsh language about the situation in Gouda, declaring that "The country is on fire, and you're (pointing at the government) are sitting there and doing nothing!"
The nuances of the facts, for example that after 5 days the bus company restored its services and that since 2005 incidents in the area had been slashed by a third, failed to make the headlines. Before Wilders expressed his outrage about the Gouda incidents, he proposed to lock up or even deport the parents of migrant youngsters who are persistent offenders.
Wilders can expect to be front-page news again in December when he will show his anti-Islamic hate video Fitna in the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem where right-wing European (and Israeli) politicians will join forces for an conference called "Standing up to Jihad". According to media sources, this crowd will fly in from Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Sweden and the UK. This new alliance, which is said to represent mainstream and not extreme right-wing politicians, will sign a "Jerusalem Declaration" at the end of a two day conference and will meet annually.
The initiator of this ugly racist pact is the ultra-right Israeli parliamentarian and hawk Arjeh Eldad, who is quoted as saying: "If Jerusalem capitulates, Europe will follow". Eldad is known as a fierce opponent of any compromise between Israel and Palestinians and has declared that "anyone who gives up part of Israel deserves the death penalty" citing the involvement of former Israeli premier Olmert in peace talks.
Wilders and some of his fellow members of the PVV have visited Israel before and have met another ultra-rightist Israeli parliamentarian Avigdor Lieberman, who wants to execute Arab parliamentarians for having contact with representatives of the Palestinians.
Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net