Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Right-Wing Bloc in the European Parliament?

Our Flemish correspondent VH has translated some recent Dutch-language news about Geert Wilders, and includes some supplemental material in English from Haaretz.

First, from Elsevier, the possibility of a right-wing alliance that includes Vlaams Belang:

Wilders: A right-wing bloc in European Parliament might be possible

By Robbert de Witt

PVV leader Geert Wilders sees opportunities for the European elections next year and is therefore considering working together with other right-wing parties in Europe. Wilders does not want to exclude anyone in advance.

Wilders confirms to elsevier.nl that he is considering the formation of a right-wing bloc in the European Parliament. Wilders does not want to exclude cooperating with Vlaams Belang or any other right-wing European party in this. Until now, Wilders always rejected the formation of an alliance with the Flemish party. The reason was the supposed anti-Semitism of the Flemish party.

Different views

In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year, several Belgian-Jewish clergymen pointed at alleged anti-Semitic sentiments in the Vlaams Belang. Referring to this, Wilders said that he did not consider a possible cooperation.

Co-operating

But Wilders denies to elsevier.nl that he told Haaretz last Sunday at the presentation of his Koran film Fitna in Jerusalem, that “other signals are coming from the Vlaams Belang” now. Wilders stressed, however, that his party will keep “all options open,” and doesn’t want to exclude anyone in advance.*

Right-wing block

In an interview in magazine “HP/De Tijd,” Wilders said that he is talking with other right-wing parties in Europe. By forming a Right-wing bloc he wants to gain more influence in the European Parliament. Wilders said to be busy with a list of candidates for the European elections that will be held in June of next year.

* Haaretz wrote last week Sunday that:
- - - - - - - - -
Wilders [in the interview] also said that he is considering forming an alliance with Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Belang party, which he has hitherto shunned. Belgian Jews [mostly the “progressives”, though — VH] have also shunned Vlaams Belang.

[…]

Wilders also revealed that if his Party for Freedom — which occupies nine of the Dutch parliament’s 150 seats — runs in European parliamentary elections, he may join Vlaams Belang to form a larger Right-wing bloc. Wilders had previously said he would not consider such an alliance.

Belgium’s Jewish leadership has boycotted Vlaams Belang, citing its “strong anti-Semitic characteristics,” and in an interview with Haaretz last year, Wilders cited this in explaining his decision to distance himself from the party. But now, he said, “there are different sounds coming from Vlaams Belang. Some people say they have changed, even from the Jewish community.

“That they have changed their tune. Others say they haven’t. I have to look into it and talk to people and study it more. I’m not saying it is impossible.” However, he added, “we will not ally ourselves with parties like that of France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen.”

As reported by Haaretz last week, sources in Vlaams Belang said that Eldad had invited their party’s leader, Filip Dewinter, to visit Jerusalem next year. However, Eldad denied this.

In other news about Geert Wilders, from another article in Elsevier, concerning threats against the PVV leader:

Columnist has to go after row with Wilders

NRC Handelsblad [once a quality newspaper, but in the past decade becoming increasingly politically correct, and losing subscribers] has immediately halted the column and blog by Frank Vermeulen. This decision follows the conflict between the journalist and PVV leader Geert Wilders.

[Statement by the chief editors]

The reason given by the chief editors was the leaking of the name [Frank Vermeulen]. “The chief editors have decided to end the political column and the PolitBlog by editor Frank Vermeulen. A case that started as a private matter between him and a member of Parliament — about whom he should be able to write freely as a columnist — has become an obstacle for his professional work. We regret this.”

[…]

Hypocrite

Vermeulen [who does not hide in his columns that he dislikes the PVV, its voters, and especially Geert Wilders] raised the anger of Wilders because he called Wilders — among other things — a hypocrite.

The son of the journalist though, had called Wilders and threatened him with death. He obtained the phone number of Wilders from the mobile phone of his father. Wilders reported him to the police and the boy was pulled from his bed.

Begging

And thus the columnist Vermeulen appeared at Wilders’ office with tears in his eyes. According to Wilders, the journalist begged him to withdraw the complaint against his son. Wilders refused to do that.

Three months later Vermeulen wrote a column in which he again called Wilders a hypocrite. In HP/De Tijd, Wilders unveiled the name of the journalist whose son had threatened him, and accused Vermeulen of hypocrisy.

A typical Vermeulen quote about Wilders, from his column in the NRC Handelsblad website a month ago:

Wilders himself is probably, in spite of himself, a neutralizer: hardly to be taken seriously, and if he continues any longer this time, after his failed movie and his state of open loop control, he will be a sort of laughingstock for whom even a cordon sanitaire would be far too much credit. […] Geert serves the people who mainly watch sewer-television, and who also are bored very quickly, especially when the beer runs out.

6 comments:

Henrik R Clausen said...

Usual left-wing strategy: Threats and 'ad hominem' attacks.

Nothing new here, and Wilders is right in upholding the complaint.

blogagog said...

This troubles my mind. I don't pay close enough attention to detail of European politics. What I'm hearing Geert say is that he thinks VB and Pen of France are anti-Jew, so he has trouble aligning with them.

I respect Mr. Wilders' opinion more than any European I've read about (save perhaps Ms. Ayaan), and I'm a huge fan of Israel. So I'm wondering - is he right? Was I wrong to blow off lgf when they called VB a bunch of racists?

It's so easy to be wrong about these things when you're half a world away.

VH said...

@ blogagog: I think from what I understand, the Haaretz article is quite accurate. Wilders is not excluding VB, but will not welcome the Front National in a proposal for a European Right wing bloc. Since the Dutch MSM (for a large part anti Israël by the way) behave like sharks when they hear "VB," he has to push and pull them a bit first I guess (if he does not want to spend the rest of the year answering the same questions over and over again:)

There are all kinds of people claiming they talk on behalf of "the Jewish community". But of course there are "progressives" (anti VB, anti Wilders, and sometimes organised as "progressives", like the group "Another Jewish Voice" in The Netherlands) and "Conservatives" (pro VB, pro Wilders, and not easily claiming they speak "on behalf of a community") amongst them. In the Orthodox Jewish community in Anwerp for instance, there are many supporters of Dewinter.

Usually the same people who smear Wilders, smear VB as well, and vice versa. But the VB is absolutely not a "bunch of racists" as the smear goes. And it is one of the very few parties in Belgium that is truly pro Israël.

I hope this information will answer your questions a bit.

sioe said...

It would be remarkable that people of Vermeulen's ilk believe they take the moral high ground by hurling insults as a first result. However, it is done with such monotonous regularity it is no londer remarkable it is beyond tedious.
Such people as Vermeulen have rendered the accusation of "racism" worthless. They exihibit such open mindedness they bellow "bigot" at anyone with whom they disagree.
A bloc of political parties standing against islamisation is welcome. The matter of halal slaughter, paedophilia and women's rights under sharia law needs to be discussed openly and frankly. Only people like Geert Wilders will achieve this at the parliamentary level.
However, confronting the Internazis and Nazislamists at street level must be continued.

blogagog said...

@VH Thanks much for the information. I have agreed with everything that I've heard come out of DeWinter's mouth (which, admittedly, is not very much since little of it is translated into English). But I also agree with Mr. Wilders' assertion that Israel is receiving the brunt of the jihad for the West and without them we'd be fighting an even tougher enemy.

Antisemites are almost always anti-Israel, which is counter-productive. So I'm glad to hear that my concerns about VB are misplaced.

las said...

Vermeulen's ad hominem attacks against Wilders never seem to embarrass the uppuffery of the liberal/left's oft repeated self claim to incisive and critical journalism. These attacks only play up to the group think mentality of their audience. They never clue in as to how they look to real critical thinkers.

They decry big successes, like "Fitna", as failures. Imagine, the film is seen worldwide with over a million viewings after just one day, and it's a failure! To paraphrase Churchill... "Some film! Some failure!"

Do the liberal/left get it yet that when they make claims, thinking people know the opposite to be true.