Tuesday, May 24 2016

Geert Wilders: Europe's Most Dangerous Man?

 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 programme opens with Wilders’ trial in the Netherlands, where he is facing charges of inciting racial hatred. The prosecution is seen reading out some of Wilders’ inflammatory writings such as “The Qur’an is the ‘Mein Kampf’ of a religion that intends to eliminate us,” and his referring to Muslims as “scum – that is what they are.”

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.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 February 2011 18:39


0 #4 BBC is pro-Zionist HasbaraHasbara hunter 2011-02-21 20:35
Have you forgotten the charity appeal that was rejected by those who run it & the collective shock here in Britain, Newspaniard?

He is anti-Semitic, recall that Arabic is a semitic language.
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0 #3 Biased Broadcasting CorporationVoice of Reason 2011-02-21 13:23
If you've watched the so called documentary (and even if you haven't) then I urge you to read the response given by Melanie Phillips and other journalists and bloggers.

If they are correct then this programme will do nothing to reconcile those with opposing views and will simply widen the gulf between them.

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-1 #2 BBC Hatchet JobNewspaniard 2011-02-20 10:18
I note that you don't mention the total hatchet job the BBC did on Wilders even sinking to interviewing radicals with terrorist links, making them look "respectable". The hints at him being a Nazi, facist ultra riight wing etc were almost subliminally inserted. The BBC's blatant anti-semitism was exploited in the last 15 minutes. I do not understand how any supposed freethinker or protector of free speech could possibly call this programme anything but blatant character assination by a blatantly left wing, pro terrorist organization. Be ashamed.
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+1 #1 Observer 2011-02-19 10:20
It did not really add anything else except what I knew about him and his friends. All people with mental issues who call him "great". P Geller was still funny.

The only thing I was glad about was to out the role of the Jewish Task Force.
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