Most readers will remember the news from this time last year, when prominent Leftist politicians in the Netherlands marched shoulder-to-shoulder with Hamas supporters who shouted “Intifada!” and “Jews to the gas!”
The Dutch authorities reveal themselves to be strongly in favor of free speech, after all: none of those distinguished Socialists will face judicial punishment for their participation in these events.
It’s important to remember that the office of the Public Prosecutor (Openbaar Ministerie or OM) referred to here is the same governmental entity which is prosecuting Geert Wilders for his movie Fitna and other statements considered to be “incitement to hatred”.
Our Flemish correspondent VH has translated an article from Elsevier and added some notes of his own:
Dutch Socialist Van Bommel not prosecuted for “Intifada” chants
Gretta Duisenberg [of the anti-Semitic organization “End the Occupation”, widow of the late European Central Bank director Wim Duisenberg] and Dutch MPs for the SP [Socialist Party] Harry van Bommel and Sadet Karabulut will not be prosecuted for their chants “Intifada, Intifada, Palestine free” during a demonstration last year. Lawyer Bram Moszkowicz had filed complaints against the trio because they called for violence.
The demonstration took place on January 3, 2009, in Amsterdam and was held to protest the operation by Israel against Hamas in Gaza. During the demonstration the slogans chanted included “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” “Hamas, Jihad,” and the Islamic shout “Allahu Akhbar,” and “Intifada, Palestine Free”.
According to the Public Prosecutor (OM) there was no question of sedition. The OM argues that the slogan “Intifada, Intifada, Palestine free” is not punishable, because it is unclear what is meant by it. An intifada can be both violent or non-violent [according to the OM].
Van Bommel said in a comment that he is happy with the clear decision by the OM. “The slogan is too indefinite and I was not referring to a violent intifada.” The SP MP also found it important that he and two others are not being prosecuted for statements concerning what others do. “Then you would not be able to demonstrate. A provocateur could always disturb things.”
Sadet Karabulut had also said after the demonstration that she meant a non-violent uprising with “intifada”.
Van Bommel called his chants “unhandy”, but said he had not heard the alleged anti-Semitic slogans like “Jews to the gas” . SP leader Agnes Kant and MEP Erik Meijer had said then that they were not happy with the chants of the MPs.
According to the Public Prosecutor (OM) it is unclear whether the slogan “Intifada” calls for violence. Justice is also of the opinion that the three defendants could not be held responsible for chants made by other demonstrators.
Demonstrators also not prosecuted
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It is, according to the Public Prosecutor (OM), unlikely that the three could even have heard the chant “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas”. The OM finds such a slogan indeed punishable, but could not work out exactly who had chanted it. Bram Moszkowicz had also filed declarations against those demonstrators.
Following that demonstration, the Auschwitz Committee managed to convince Van Bommel not to show up at the (annual) commemoration [in Amsterdam’s Wertheim Park].
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 “Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli manifestations reached post-Second World War highs during Israel’s recent Gaza campaign. […] Prominent politicians participated in such protests. There are indications that a variety of Muslim bodies, including mosque organizations, had planned these events well in advance. […] A number of actions by various independent Muslim bodies in several Western countries manifested their desire to conquer the public square and, at the same time, remove Jewish and Israeli identities from it. This development is relevant not only to Jews but also to the general public. Those who want to impose themselves in the public domain today at the expense of Jews, are likely to do so tomorrow at the expense of others.” [from the article “The Gaza War and the New Outburst of Anti-Semitism”]