Our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan has kindly translated an article from today’s De Telegraaf, and follows it with his commentary:
Right-wing Israeli group praises Fitna movie
Ovation in Israel for Wilders’ movie
JERUSALEM — Politician Geert Wilders received a standing ovation after his presentation of the movie Fitna to a group of two hundred right-wing Israelis. The organizer of the meeting called Fitna “one of the most important movies made during recent decades”.
The PVV leader was invited to Israel by Knesset member Arieh Eldad, who participated as National Union member during the last elections. The National Union is a party that believes that Israel should be ethnically cleansed of Arab Israelis, if necessary by force. “I personally do not agree that people should be forced to go anywhere”, said Wilders, who finds that the Israeli-Palestine conflict is an ideological conflict and not a fight for territory.
“There already is a Palestinian State, and its name is Jordan.” Wilders finds Israel a beautiful country, and has visited it many times. He happened to live there between his 17th and 19th years. “If feel more safe in Israel than in The Netherlands.” Israel catches the first blow for the Western world in the worldwide fight against the jihad.
The hard core of the settler groups, seen as the major stumbling blocks for peace between the two people, were amongst Wilders’ audience. Among them was a member of a Jewish-militant group which is perceived in many countries as a terrorist organization.
Commentary from H. Numan:
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Whatever he does, it makes no difference. We’ll find something to tar him with anyway. The above article is an accurate translation from the Telegraaf newspaper. Usually the least anti-Wilders newspaper around. GeenStijl Blog doesn’t mince words. They go for the jugular directly. They selected a few of the most anti-Semitic comments of the Telegraaf to decorate their article.
Why this change of heart? That’s easy to explain. Somebody is patting the moneybag. Minister Ronald Plasterk (media) announced he will give the newspapers €8 million, to ease the pain somewhat.
What pain? Well, The Netherlands has a mixed radio/TV system. It’s partly public, and partly commercial. The major part is public. There is a small government broadcast station (NOS) which is officially neutral. As neutral as a red traffic light, that is. The other public stations are supported by members. These stations are (ex) Roman Catholic (KRO), Communist (VPRO), slightly Protestant (AVRO), really Protestant (NCRV), reborn Christian Protestant (EO) and several others. All these stations cannot exist purely on membership fees. So, as you might expect, the government chips in. In the past a radio tax was raised. Today this is a flat tax you pay regardless whether you have a radio or not. And by advertising. A lot of advertising.
This is direct competition for the newspapers, as nobody other than Wilders publicly stated in on of the most virulent anti-Wilders newspaper De Volkskrant (ex RC, now extreme left). He suggested that the government should stop limitless funding of the public networks. And that advertising proceeds should not go to a public network. If anyone is a democrat, I can’t think of a better way of showing it.
However, media minister Ronald Plasterk quickly found €8 million (a pittance, compared with the +€250 million advertising revenue excluding the even bigger government subsidy for the public stations), and all of a sudden the newspapers — discreetly, mind you — happily blast the only guy willing to make them profitable.