Below is an article that was posted on the Flemish Parliament website in 2005 by Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang. Rolf Krake, a Dane who lives in Brussels and speaks Flemish, has kindly translated it for us.
Vlaams Belang approves Holocaust resolution in Flemish parliament
Vlaams Belang disapproves the political abuse of the ‘Green Party’ concerning the holocaust resolution
Filip Dewinter sent an open letter to the Jewish community
In the general policy of the Flemish parliament’s Commission came today the proposal of the Green Party’s resolution! And the Flemish majority parties discussed the commemoration of the holocaust, the concerns about anti-Semitism and racism and approved the bill. The Vlaams Belang adopted the proposal.
Vlaams Belang notes that the text from the Flemish resolution deviates on several points from the resolution voted in the European Parliament in which the Vlaams Belang was targeted directly. In this text an amalgam was made between the tragedy of Auschwitz and the rise of contemporary European parties which are stigmatized as “racist”. Vlaams Belang remembered the incident in the European Parliament.
The Flemish resolution does not make this link, however, and deals only with the Flemish government and each incident of intolerance and incitement to racial hatred, as well as the fact that each action of intimidation and racist violence would continue to be condemned, as well as all forms of anti-Semitism and violent actions motivated by religion — or racial hatred.
Vlaams Belang regrets, however, that the initiative came from the Green Party! Party political games such as this one pretend to be based on showing ‘respect’ for the human suffering of so many millions victims of the Holocaust. Green Party leader Jos Stassen some weeks ago suffered the consequence regarding an interview with the newspaper De Morgen (2 Feb. 2005) stating that its intentions of submitting this resolution the Vlaams Belang would confess its true colors. Vlaams Belang regrets that some find it necessary to make a shameless abuse of the Holocaust tragedy ‘anno 2005’ smearing a number of successful political opponents and attempting to demonize them.
Of course Vlaams Belang bows in deep respect for the suffering of all the victims of the Holocaust. The genocide against the Jewish people committed by the Nazi regime can never be forgotten. The 60th the anniversary of the end of the camp at Auschwitz is an excellent occasion to honor the victims and stands as a warning memory to all the victims of every form of anti-Semitism and racism.
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Vlaams Belang, by approving this resolution, strongly indicate that it will not be equated in absolutely any circumstances with Holocaust advocates and holocaust deniers of all kinds.
Filip Dewinter, President of the Vlaams Belang.
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Filip Dewinter’s Open Letter To The Jewish Community
Brussels, Monday 28 January 2005
As a result of the unfortunate and untrue reports in the media concerning the attitude of Vlaams Belang in the European Parliament regarding a resolution “concerning the commemoration of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and racism” I would be more than glad to put right what I for one and others would like to clarify.
Naturally Vlaams Belang bows down in deep respect for the suffering of all the victims of the Holocaust. The genocide against the Jewish people committed by the Nazi regime no one can never forget. The 60th anniversary of the release of the prisoners from the camp at Auschwitz is an excellent occasion to honor the victims and stands as a warning memory to the victims of every form of anti-Semitism and racism. I can refer to the MEP elected and party President Frank Vanhecke, who has also put this explicitly in his speech in the European Parliament with the following words: “Vlaams Belang bows down in deep respect for the Jews and for all the other victims of the criminal National Socialistic regime” [Nazi regime].
Unfortunately, some find it necessary to demonize a number of people from a successful and growing opposition with the use of a shameless abuse of the holocaust tragedy in the year 2006.
The resolution voted in the European Parliament is a perfect example. In that resolution we can read that “the European Parliament has provided us claiming concerns with the rise of right-extremism and xenophobic parties and the growing acceptance of their political conception by the public opinion, and with the appeals to the institutions of the European Union, the Member States and all European democratic parties too have understood the manner of the resolution’s underlying message and without reservation proceed with the condemnation of: All forms of racial, ethnic and religious intolerance, inciting to hatred, harassment and violence including all forms of traditional or new anti-Semitism, including denying the holocaust….”
During the discussion of the resolution’s content a certain socialist MEP claimed that Vlaams Belang was explicitly targeted and was named.
The political embrace of the Holocaust leads to a banalization of the facts.
The shameless political abuse of the eradication of millions of victims awakens fellow Jewish citizens to what they can only disapprove of and blame.
It is also a striking point that every reference to it has kept out and steered clear of the Islamic and Arab anti-Semitism in the resolution.
It is clear from the above-outlined the circumstances that it was impossible for Vlaams Belang to stand by, in its very nature and disheartened facts to approve the resolution [leaving out Islamic and Arab anti-Semitism].
If one only paid attention to the core message of the resolution — as it happens, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust — an issue which could carry our approval, Vlaams Belang in the European Parliament have not voted against the resolution but would have marked its standpoint.
I regret that party-political games have gained the upper hand, instead of showing respect for the human suffering of so many millions victims of the Holocaust.
The mainstream [tendentious] announcements in some papers give a dishonest impression that the Vlaams Belang, by abstaining concerning this resolution, wants to scale down the Holocaust or even deny it. Can I draw your attention to the fact that the Vlaams Belang approved previously the anti-revisionism law in the parliament — despite the large doubts about the possible violation. The Vlaams Belang wanted and wants hereby give the signal that it does not want to be at any moment aligned with the Holocaust – deniers and negationists of all kinds.
In recent years I had the pleasure to learn to know several venerable and leading members of the Antwerp Jewish Community. Their battle for the maintenance of the Jewish identity and cultural uniqueness and their persisting efforts to preserve Israel as the outpost of the free Western made a big impression on me.
Obviously the enemies of the state of Israel, who are politically rather on the left than on the right side, will apply all resources to compromise and knock down all the allies of Israel who warn of the danger of Islam and Arabic radicalism. I’m convinced of the fact that the Jewish community will quickly expose the transparent attempts to knock down the Vlaams Belang
Faction Leader, Vlaams Belang