| ||On Monday, the BBC’s ‘This World’ broadcast a programme on the far right Dutch politician, Geert Wilders. The programme, “Geert Wilders: Europe's Most Dangerous Man?” is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until 8pm on Monday, 21st February. |
The programme follows Wilders on the campaign trail in the run up to 2010 national elections in the Netherlands and paints a profile of him detailing his views, his background, his rise to prominence, and his party’s links with Israel and Zionism.
The presenter argues that Wilders rise to prominence comes as a result of his playing on “statistical fear” and exploiting the discredited ‘Eurabia’ thesis.
He notes that this fear has fuelled anti-immigration and anti-Muslim parties across the European continent, including in Hungary, Denmark, and Belgium. It has also fuelled Islamophobia in England, with the rise of the English Defence League, who were shown to be present in Amsterdam to support Wilders during his trial in the Netherlands last year.
Hafize Kaynarca, a Dutch teacher, argues that Wilders and his ilk are scapegoating Islam and Muslims for the Netherlands’ economic and social problems and asks, “what does Islam have to do with these problems?”
The programme later goes on to demonstrate Wilders’ manipulation of a “picture postcard” Netherlands, playing on nationalist images of a ‘golden age’ in the country’s history. The programme also interviews Wilders’ supporters, who say they “fear the colonisation of picture perfect Holland by Islam.”
One supporter even goes as far as saying, “there’s going to be a world war between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
“I think we’ll have a Bosnia effect here in the next five years.”
Martin Smith of Unite Against Fascism tells the programme:
“Since the beginning of the war on terror, there has been a project of sections of our rulers to use Islamophobia. It comes in the most crude form from people like Geert Wilders. So what you begin to see is, I think, a cross-fertilisation of different forms of right wing politics using Islamophobia to justify its existence. So Geert Wilders is willing to work with organisations like the EDL. What comes then is a very, very vicious Islamophobia.”
In 2009, Wilders was invited to screen his film at the House of Lords by Lord Pearson of UKIP but was not allowed in to the country. Later, in March 2010, he was allowed to screen his film at the House of Lords as Pearson’s guest. During the media conference at the screening (shown during the programme), he told those present: “I do have a problem with Islam. I think it’s a fascist ideology. Their so called prophet Muhammad was a barbarian and a paedophile.”
The programme moves to cover details of the influence of Zionism and Israel on the thinking and politics of Wilders, as well as the support (financial and otherwise) of extreme Zionists for Wilders and his party. The main foreign policies of Wilders’ party are pro- Israel.
The programme introduces ‘Robert’, who is part of the ultra-Zionist ‘Jewish Task Force’, whose founder, Chaim Ben Pesach, is said to be a convicted terrorist. On the programme, Pesach is shown presenting an extreme anti-Islamic video in which he accuses Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) of promoting forced conversions and the extermination of ‘infidels’.
‘Robert’ and Pesach assert their complete support for Wilders with Pesach claiming that he has “the utmost respect” for Wilders.
The programme highlights that Daniel Pipes, board member of the Zionist Organisation of America and director of the right-wing think tank, the Middle East Forum, paid a ‘substantial’ “six figure” sum to Wilders for his legal fees. It also details that the costs for all operations in Wilders party, apart from ‘office running costs’, are met by “foreign funding.”
On Wilders’ connection with Israel, the programme notes that Wilders lived in what is described as “one of the most extremist settlements in Israel” in his 20s. We are told, “His early exposure to the ‘Jewish state’, its people and its wordview were to have a profound effect on him and his politics.”
Wilders advocates that Israel should be an exclusively Jewish state and that the Palestinians should relocate to Jordan – a solution which is described by the presenter as a “radical concept, that doesn’t receive much mainstream support.”
The programme makes for fascinating viewing and we would recommend you catch it while it’s still available in BBC iPlayer.
For more on the Zionist influence on the spread of Islamophobia, see this article by Max Blumenthal and this article on Islamophobia Watch on the EDL’s Jewish Division forming an alliance with a far-right US based Zionist group.
|< Prev||Next >|