Friday, January 30, 2009

The Moral Equivocation of Bert the Weeper

Earlier this week I reported on Bert Anciaux, the Flemish Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport, who equated the Israel operation in Gaza with the nursery-killer of Dendermonde.

The habitual detractors of Vlaams Belang must be surprised by the fact that Mr. Anciaux is a Socialist, and not a “neo-Nazi” like Filip Dewinter.

And now Vlaams Belang has issued a response to Bert Anciaux’s nasty little jibe at the Jews.

Why does Filip Dewinter do such a bad job of being a neo-Nazi? All this support for Israel, speaking out on behalf of the beleaguered Jews of Flanders, condemning anti-Semites day after day — what in the world is he thinking of?

Huh. Some Nazi.

Our Flemish correspondent VH has translated the latest on Anciaux from Vlaams Belang, and has compiled a batch of additional material on “Bert the Weeper”:

Anciaux flies off the curve*

A few days ago Bert Anciaux called on everyone to wear an arafatsjaal [keffiyeh] to proclaim the message of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Well, Bert more often lets himself be carried away and tempted by foolish actions and statements. But a little later the blow really hit home and the notorious crash-lander [brokkenpiloot, a pilot who crashes more than he flies] flew completely off the curve. Anciaux compared the tragedy in Dendermonde to the fate of Palestinian children in Gaza…

“Here are about 15 victims, of whom 14 tiny little children. It shocks us all. I had to think as well of the hundreds of dead children in the Gaza Strip, also deliberately killed by an aggressor, and without that aggressor having been arrested for it,” Anciaux wrote on his blog.

As has often has been said and written, legitimate questions may be asked about the military action by Israel and the high number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. But to claim that Israel deliberately targeted and killed Palestinian children is something completely different. This is a gratuitous accusation. The comparison with the horrific tragedy in the nursery in Dendermonde is completely berserk and smells like the behavior of a scavenger.

The Flemish Government has been embarrassed by yet another Anciaux-incident. Little Bert now hurries to say that he did not mean it, and that he also condemns the violence by Hamas. That explanation is pretty late, and we never heard a sharp condemnation of Hamas by Anciaux before now. Whatever one may think of the war in the Middle East, the comparison with the tragedy in Dendermonde is very unfortunate and inappropriate.

VH gives us a little background on Bert Anciaux:

“Bert the Weeper,” as Bert Anciaux is called by many (because of his pretended emotions, preferably on TV), is quite open in his anti-Israel and anti-USA (pre-Obama) stands, and in his closet racism.

The one-time Flemish Nationalist (until his Nationalist Party “Volksunie” collapsed in 2001) Bert Anciaux is a slippery left-wing political opportunist (digested parties, from Flemish Nationalist to Socialist: VU — ID21 — SPIRIT — VL.PRO — SP.a) and full-blooded populist.

A quote from Vlaams Belang:
- - - - - - - - -
In old fairy tales one could sell one’s soul to the devil in return for seven years of prosperity. Bert Anciaux adds a whole new interpretation to this tale: He does not sell his soul for seven years. He sells his soul seven times successively. In late November of 2008 Bert Anciaux [then Minister for the Social Liberal party “Spirit”] declared firmly on TV: “I am not a Socialist.” Yesterday, when he switched to the SP.a [Flemish Socialists], the same Anciaux said without blinking an eye: “I am absolutely a SP.a man. And a real Social Democrat.”

Children are an excellent propaganda tool he has learned to use, and Bert Anciaux makes an art out of utilizing them to write one tear-jerk line after another in his daily thoughts about the world around him. At least, he tries hard to do it, since for many Leftists, anything goes as long as it gains votes.

Last year, when then still Minister of Culture, Anciaux opened the state-funded Expertise Center for Islamic Culture in Flanders (Expertisecentrum voor Islamitische Culturen in Vlaanderen, ECICV): “From a study that I conducted through Ghent University it appears that the demand for knowledge about Islam is huge,” according to Bert Anciaux. “Our principal source of information is after all not contact with Muslims, but the media, which all too often present a distorted picture.” Anciaux said that the people, the media and those in the middle like schools have a great need for objective information about Muslim culture. “After all, it contains more than religion alone,” according to Anciaux. “It is also a culture and a civilization.” Abdelhay Ben Abdellah, head of the center, said: “Additionally we want to take the initiative for the academic study of Islam culture in Flanders. In this way we will build a bridge between the academic world and the public.”

After his latest smear of Israel and Jews, Anciaux defended himself:

I will condemn every attack on innocent civilians, especially on children, wherever it occurs in the world. My expressions are not aimed at the Jewish community, but more so towards illegitimate violence by the Jewish state,” and added: “Also the violence of Hamas against innocent Jewish civilians is unacceptable and inhuman.” Anciaux points out that the people in the Gaza strip didn’t get the chance to flee from the violence: “The massive murder of innocent children can never be justified and is a deliberate act of violence and aggression. When one wants to fight out a war with Hamas, then at least give innocent civilians, amongst whom which a huge amount of children, the chance to bring themselves to safety. This they did not do,” stresses Anciaux.

And here’s what Joods Actueel had to say:

Consciously is not deliberate

Bert Anciaux sees a difference between the “consciously murdering children” and “deliberately aiming for children”.

Jewish News [Joods Actueel] had a conversation with Minister Anciaux. The Israeli embassy reacted strongly to the statements by Anciaux.

Anciaux: This is in a personal comment on my blog. Each child that is murdered or killed, is inhumane and unacceptable [sic]. Wherever in the world. Nobody has the right to put innocent children in danger or to kill them.

Jewish News: You stay with your choice of words that Israel deliberately killed children.

Anciaux: When Israel starts a war against Hamas in Gaza, then they know there is no doubt that children will die. You therefore cannot say otherwise than Israel was conscious of the possibility that children would die.

Jewish News: If Israel wanted to deliberately murder children, why didn’t they use “carpet bombing” then, and kill many more children? You would have thought that the most powerful army in the Middle East in two weeks time with thousands of bombs could have killed many more children if it was intended.

Anciaux: I also have never said that Israel deliberately goes after children.

Jewish News: That is clearly the way it appears.

Anciaux: That’s scandalous talk. Anyone with malicious intentions can turn my words around, but I have not said that.

Jewish News: But that is clearly the way it appears. And if you continue the reasoning further, then the war of NATO (and Belgian fighter aircraft) in Afghanistan is also a war where we “consciously” murder children.

Anciaux: Everyone knows that I am resolutely against the NATO operation. But even then, you cannot compare the two. In Gaza there were people who were trapped and there was nowhere to go to.

Jewish News: Where should the children of Afghanistan be going to, if they often don’t even have shoes?

- - - -

Afterthought: The question is just whether the Minister will “consciously” minimize his expressions.

More notes from VH:

Asked for their stands on the election of President George Bush, these were the various responses:

Jean-Marie Dedecker (VLD): “If I say that Bush’s IQ is lower than my blood pressure, then Mr. Bush shouldn’t complain at this moment, because my doctor has found yesterday that my blood pressure is way too high.”

Gerolf Annemans (Vlaams Belang): “I warmly welcome president Bush. You won’t hear me say that I agree on everything with the man, but his policies have given the US an advantage of ten years compared to Europe.”

Bert Anciaux (at that time Minister for the party Spirit): “I would like to demonstrate against him. I have asked the Flemish government if I could, but they made clear it would be better not to. As a government minister, I'm not as free as I would be as an MP or a party president, in which case I certainly would have demonstrated on the streets. So now I keep my legs still, but my heart will beat for the demonstrators.”

On his own blog there is more to find about the world of the anti-Semite Socialist Bert Anciaux. Just a few examples [the dates of publishing in brackets to find the original on his blog]:

Politically correct racism:

“To see him busy. It does one good. Damn it, what is doable in America should be possible here too. One man manages to wipe all the negativism off the table. One man manages to unite a nation. And above all a man who had his skin color against him. Never before was a black man was taken seriously as president candidate. Never before did white America want to know of a black advocate.” […] Each of us must pick up one’s responsibility. Unite what can be united. Come on, we are not going to accept that 80 percent of the people are going to vote Right and Conservative, are we!? We are not going to accept that the false prophets are going to set us by the ears?” [dinsdag 20 jan 2009]

“Obama has bought back hope to a people that suffered during last 8 years under a Rightist and Conservative government.” [maandag 19 jan 2009]

On the keffiyeh:

“While his father resided in Palestine, his 10-year old son slept with his fathers’ arafatsjaal [keffiyeh]. That image alone says more than many thousand words. The attachment between a father and his son, of a son who looks up to his father. The connection between the present and the future, the continuation of an ideal, the purpose of a life, the pride on the truth. […] The driver could just prevent his resignation. The wearing of an arafatsjaal was not appreciated. Is seemingly not done, unacceptable! As if it is an unforgivable posture, as if it is a forbidden practice, a serious mistake. An arafatsjaal will be for some people another symbol out of many that have to be kept out of our society. But what is so dangerous about it? Does the wearing of it lead to violence and intolerance? Or is it just a sign of alliance with a suppressed and terrorized people?

Today every righteous Fleming, every righteous human being should wear the arafatsjaal. Out of solidarity with all the suppressed, out of solidarity with all those whose life is endangered, for all those who risk their lives every day.”


He brought a shawl [keffiyeh] for me from Gaza. I will wear it with dignity. Like once I received a keppel form a Jewish friend. It was from his deceased father. I still cherish it.” [donderdag 22 jan 2009]

On integration (Erdogan):

“The connection between the Turkish community here in Flanders and Turkey is very tight. And that is good. If only because of our ties with millions of Turks within the European Community, the accession of Turkey to the EU is a good thing. […] Erdogan seems like a charismatic leader. In his government years he absolutely moved Turkey in a new direction. He reconciles Islam with the absolute secular state that Turkey is.

Turkey is a powerful state, with which the Flemish community is going to enter a Cultural Agreement. Cooperation between Flanders and Turkey is necessary. They both are countries in which many cultures reside. […] The call by Erdogan on the one hand to integrate in the country of arrival and on the other hand never to give up one’s own identity, is a message in which I firmly believe. […] The Turkish community is an important partner to the building of an intercultural Flanders. Assimilation is thereby indeed mortal. It destroys all identity and gets caught up in diversity.” [zondag 18 jan 2009]

On Gaza:

…The world is on fire and our parliament debates on the Government Statement of another Government. Thanks to our own Parliamentarians the war in Gaza entered the agenda. Jan had prepared a resolution. This atrocity deserves more attention and a lot less political deliberation. There are hundreds of dead children and thousands of wounded and our politicians are discussing the dots and commas. —All opinions must be in it. — It may not be of too much to the benefit of the Palestinians. — The Jewish community must be full-fledged taken into it.It sounds all strange at a moment when slaughter is underway. At a moment when protected UN schools full of fled Palestine children are shot at and being bombed. It is inhuman.

Fouad [Fouad Ahidar who followed Anciaux to the SP.a] has had enough of all the talking. He goes in a little boat from Cyprus to Gaza to deliver food and medicine and watch the situation there himself. That is real politics. Putting one’s own life in danger and getting down to work. I hope enough foreign politicians are going with him. I hope Foreign Affairs will do all they can to guarantee their safety.

Today there are big worries that there are those who do need a voice: the thousands of people who are unified with the victims of the blind aggression of Israel. But also the thousands of Jews who in their turn are feeling threatened and look for comfort.

Give us thousand Fouads and the world will instantly look cleaner. Maybe not more quiet, certainly not more calm, also not more serious, no, but much more peaceful. So much more honest.
[woensdag 07 jan 2009]

On Progressiveness:

“Being progressive takes courage. It overrides the cheap gain. It must be so much more than only to score for one’s own rank and file. To open the club to others. Just looking a bit further than fast and cheap success. Being Conservative is wanting to close the borders. To hunt down all the people without papers [illegals]. To give out to ‘the stranger who comes minding our business’.” [donderdag 15 jan 2009]

Flashback concerning Anciaux — from late last year, on the Vlaams Belang website:

Flemish Minister Bert Anciaux sent greeting cards for the Islamic feast of Sacrifice.

Filip Dewinter: “Islamophile Bert Anciaux sucks up to Muslims out of pure electoralism. Will Bert Anciaux do the same in reference to the Christmas feast for the Catholics and the Passover feast for the Jewish community?”

Flemish Minister Bert Anciaux, in connection to the Islamic feast of sacrifice [Eid al Adha], on Monday last week sent out greeting cards to all Islamic organizations and mosque associations in the Brussels region to wish them a “nice sacrifice feast”. He also invited — in connection with the sacrifice feast — on Tuesday, December 9, at 12 noon all interested leaders of the associations of Islamic organizations to his Ministry for a snack and a drink.

Filip Dewinter is amazed at the initiative of Bert Anciaux. Not only does Bert Anciaux bend backwards for the Islamization tsunami but he also campaigns for it himself at the expense of the taxpayer. This initiative by Anciaux fits in the strategy of the Left because it pushes the Muslim voters to the front for their electoral benefit.

Filip Dewinter wonders to what extent Bert Anciaux is also sending greeting cards to all Catholic organizations and churches following Christmas? Are Jewish organizations and rabbis from the Brussels region invited to the Ministry following the Passover feast? Of course not! Only the electorally interesting Muslim community receives extra attention from Bert Anciaux. Filip Dewinter before long will question** the Flemish Minister Bert Anciaux about this remarkable initiative.


* The Dutch idiom “flying off the curve” (vliegt uit de bocht), means to lose control by being exaggerating too much, as if the speaker were speeding off the road from a curve.

** The Belgian Cabinet resigned shortly after this article by Filip Dewinter was published.


Czechmade said...

"A few days ago Bert Anciaux called on everyone to wear an arafatsjaal",

I see, the poor Palestinian kid Bert
Anciaux is totally dead right now.