Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dutch Anti-Israel Incitement Continues to Expand - Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

The Netherland’s attitude toward Israel is not friendly anymore, it is only somewhat less hostile than is the rest of criminal Europe.

A few weeks ago, a story concerning the Netherlands gained international attention: the Holocaust and old-age pensions of a very elderly Dutch citizen were greatly reduced by the Dutch authorities because she had taken residence in Judea (aka the "West Bank"), outside the Green Line. After much public protest and after having received substantial negative publicity, the Dutch authorities remedied her specific case.[1] The discrimination concerning old age pensions for those living in the "territories", however, has been confirmed by the Dutch government.[2]

Not surprisingly, the next Dutch Israel-related scandal has now emerged. A history textbook that greatly distorts the history of Israel’s War of Independence, and at the same time, minimizes the long-term pre-1948 terrorism campaign of the Arabs,[3] is being used as part of the Dutch high school curriculum. Menachem Begin is called a terrorist, and Arafat is not.[4]

After a rather belated critical editorial on the issue of the Holocaust survivor’s pension cuts was published in The Jerusalem Post,[5] Dutch ambassador Caspar Veldkamp had his response published in the same daily.[6] It has to be pointed out that this ambassador has made great efforts to improve relations between the Netherlands and Israel, and the same goes for the other current Dutch embassy staff I have met with over the years. The embassy’s very positive attitude, however, is far from representative for the Netherlands.

There was, however, a particular remark in the Dutch ambassador’s article which one should not let pass without comment. He wrote that the Netherlands is a country which can still be considered one of Israel’s best friends.

In this context, however, the word “friend” is misplaced. Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, of the anti-Israel Dutch Labor Party, is one of the eighteen EU foreign ministers who want to label products from the Israeli settlements as being of non-Israeli origin.[7] There are twelve EU foreign ministers who are not of that opinion.  Koenders has not taken any steps, however, to have products from Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus labelled as such, when northern Cyprus is occupied territory, and whereas the "West Bank" is disputed territory.[8]

Koenders’ predecessor, Frans Timmermans, also of the Labor party, admitted during a 2013 lecture in Tel Aviv that in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the European Union applies double standards against Israel, because it considers it to be a European country.[9] This claim implied that one cannot consider Palestinians and Arabs to be Europeans. Double standards are a key characteristic of anti-Semitic acts.[10] Timmermans’ remark reminds one of colonial racists who considered non-European people as inferior and as having less responsibility for their actions. Timmermans’ claim also goes against the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that all people are endowed with reason and conscience. That means that they are responsible for their acts.[11]

Whoever looks at the website of the Dutch Labor party can see that while it attacks Israel, it remains silent about the Islamo-Nazism of the largest Palestinian faction, Hamas, and about the many other criminal acts perpetrated by Palestinians. In this way, the Labor party is an indirect supporter of Islamo-Nazism.[12]

In a private meeting with another Dutch ambassador who was visiting Israel a few weeks ago, I said that the Netherlands had committed state anti-Semitism by indiscriminately allowing a million Muslim immigrants to enter the country. This happened in spite of the fact that it is generally known that these Muslims originate from countries that are far more anti-Semitic than the Netherlands.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the Netherlands during the summer of 2014 was equal to the total number of incidents in 2011-2012. Esther Voet, at the time the director of CIDI, a Dutch pro-Israel organization, estimated that two-thirds of these crimes were perpetrated by non-Western immigrants or their descendants. This was a euphemistic reference to Muslim immigrants, who represent about 6% of the population.[13]

If a country allows massive and almost indiscriminate immigration from other countries which have far more anti-Semites among their populations, it will subsequently see its domestic anti-Semitism increase. This can be seen as state-sponsored anti-Semitism. This simple reasoning was too complex an idea for the visiting Dutch ambassador to accept.

The 2011 study of the University of Bielefeld for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation asked citizens of seven EU countries, aged 16 years and older, whether they agreed with the statement that Israel was exterminating the Palestinians.[14] The Netherlands and Italy came out somewhat less anti-Semitic than the other countries, with about 38% agreeing with the statement. 

If one unjustifiably attributes extreme criminal acts to a certain people innocent of such, it means that one has a criminal mindset. After the findings of the German study, one can conclude that five million Dutch are in that category. 

Thus, rather than saying that the Netherlands are among those countries that are friendly to Israel, one should state that the Netherlands are among the less hostile in an increasingly criminal Europe.

In 2010, I published a book in Dutch titled, The Decay. Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands,[15] where I stated that one could see the moral decline of the Netherlands over the past decades by analyzing its attitude toward the Jews. The book received substantial public attention and even led to a debate in the Dutch parliament on anti-Semitism.

This was due to a particular paragraph within the book in which I quoted a remark made by former Dutch Euro-commissioner Frits Bolkestein. He had told me that Jews should realize that there is no future for them in the Netherlands, and that they should advise their children to immigrate to the United States or Israel. This was due, according to Bolkestein, to the problems he foresaw with unintegrated Muslim immigrants.[16]

Femke Halsema, the leader of another anti-Israel Dutch party, the Green Left, reacted, saying that Bolkestein was “crackers”.[17] Whoever reads my 2010 book today knows that Bolkestein was right as far as the increasingly bleak future for Jews in the Netherlands is concerned. Beyond that, even more than its attitude toward the Jews, the Netherland’s attitude toward Israel has become an indication of the moral degradation of Dutch society. Developments over the past few years are a clear indication of such.

One does not have to be a prophet to forecast that both the environment for Jews and the anti-Israeli incitement in the Netherlands will get worse.

[1] “Geen korting AOW holocaustoverlevende”, de Telegraaf, 27 May 2015.
[2] Mike Durand, “Vraagtekens bij SGP en CU na beantwoording AOW-vragen,” CIDI 29 May 2015.
[3] “Ophef in Israël over Nederlands schoolbook,” Reformatorisch Dagblad, 27 May 2015.
[4] Elise Friedman, “Schoolboekje onevenwichtig over Israel,” CIDI, 27 May 2015.
[5] Herb Keinon, “Netherlands to publish new policy on pension payments to citizens living in settlements,” The Jerusalem Post, 11 May 2015.
[6] Caspar Veldkamp, “The Dutch Care about Their Holocaust Survivors,” The Jerusalem Post, 21 May 2015.
[7] “Koenders zet etikettering weer op agenda”, Telegraaf, 20 November 2014.
[8] Eugene Kontorovich, “How the EU directly funds settlements in occupied territory,” Jerusalem Post, 28 December 2013.
[9]  Herb Keinon, “Dutch FM: Europe judges Israel by a different standard than other Middle East countries”, The Jerusalem Post, 10 December 2013.
[10] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Double Standards for Israel, Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, 7 January 2013.
[12] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “de PvdA: Nederlands grootste wegkijkerspartij van genocideplannen”, De Dagelijkse Standaard, 19 November 2014.
[13] Naama Lansky, “Sakana Berura Umijadit,” Israel Hayom, August 22, 2014. (Hebrew)
[15] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Het Verval, Joden in een Stuurloos Nederland (Amsterdam: Van Praag, 2010), 164-173. (Dutch)
[16] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Het Verval, Joden in een Stuurloos Nederland (Amsterdam:
Van Praag, 2010), 109.
[17] “Felle kritiek op joden-uitspraak Bolkestein”, Trouw, 6 December 2010.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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