The Netherlands’ Profound Hypocrisy on the Jews

SPECIAL REPORT

The following report is reproduced in full with permission from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

by Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Netherlands’ attitude towards the Jews reveals Dutch society to be profoundly hypocritical. The Dutch government remains the only one in Western Europe that consistently refuses to admit, let alone apologize for, the massive failures of its predecessors towards the Jews during WWII. Ignoring the truth of its past enables the Dutch government and parts of the political system to act as moral judges over others, with Israel a prime target.

The Netherlands is a profoundly hypocritical society. To prove such a statement in detail would require a lengthy book. One shortcut to support this claim is to look at the history of the relationship between Dutch Jews and the society at large.

The synagogue in Veghel, the Netherlands. All the Jews in the town of Veghel were killed during the Holocaust.  Photo via Wikipedia

The extreme behaviour of the Dutch is not readily visible. The Netherlands isn’t particularly hospitable to its Jews, but neither can one rank its attitude towards them among Europe’s worst. Only a handful of foreign correspondents are based in the country, so negative aspects of the Netherlands rarely make it into the international media.

In May 1940, the Netherlands was occupied by the invading Germans within a matter of days. In the years to follow, more than 70% of its 140,000-strong Jewish population were murdered after having been sent to German camps, mainly in Poland. In the preparatory activities for what would lead to genocide, the Dutch authorities followed Nazi orders. Dutch police arrested Jews, including babies, simply for being Jews. Dutch railways transported Jews to the Dutch transit camp Westerbork, and from there to the German border. Dutch police guarded the Jews in the camp.

The Dutch government in exile in London gave no instructions to the bureaucracy in their occupied country. One government employee in London, Henri Dentz, wrote a report in December 1943 that stated that most Dutch Jews had already been murdered. This report was sent to all ministries and to a number of other Dutch institutions in London, including the Red Cross. After the war, Dentz testified that nobody wanted to read it.

While authorities in the occupied Netherlands assisted the Nazis, a small minority of good Dutchmen helped 24,000 Jews to hide. A third of these were ultimately betrayed. According to a historian with whom I spoke, the Netherlands was the only occupied country in which a group of volunteers and a special police unit were paid to hunt down Jews in hiding.

In spite of all this, the Dutch government remains the only one in Western Europe to consistently refuse to admit the huge failures of its wartime predecessors towards the Jews. Even the small states of Luxembourg and Monaco have admitted their wartime misconduct and offered apologies.

In an interview with an Israeli government radio station in 2000, then Dutch PM Wim Kok said: “The Dutch have never been responsible for the misconduct of the Germans in the Netherlands during the war.” He made no reference to the responsibility for wartime misconduct towards Dutch Jews by Dutch authorities, institutions, and many individuals. It was a classic straw man argument. No one accuses the Dutch of committing the Nazis’ crimes, only of committing their own.

This absence of admission and apology for crimes and negligence is a key element of the hypocrisy of Dutch society. That hypocrisy can be seen in Dutch behaviour elsewhere. The Netherlands committed major war crimes in the military campaigns of 1947 and 1948 – euphemistically known as “police actions” – in its then colony, the Dutch Indies, now Indonesia.

Over the decades, hardly anyone has cared about those Dutch crimes, even after the publication of information about them. Consider, for example, the case of Dutch officer Raymond Westerling, who was in charge of “pacifying” parts of the island of Sulawesi during the Indonesian war. An interview with him in which he admitted to war crimes was filmed in 1969. Not a single Dutch TV station agreed to broadcast it. It was finally shown in 2012. In 1971, Westerling told a journalist over a glass of diluted whisky that he had court-martialed 350 captives and personally executed them. Again, no action was taken by justice authorities. In the late 1960s, a young Dutch historian, Cees Fasseur, was officially charged with investigating these “police actions.” He later admitted the superficial nature of his research.

In 1997, historian Ad van Liempt wrote a book, The Train of Corpses, in which he detailed how the Dutch starved to death about half of the local captives on a train transport during that war. Van Liempt told me that many had found it scandalous that he had written the book. A Dutch filmmaker known personally to me made a movie in 1995 about the Dutch army’s mass killings of hundreds of men in the village of Rawagede on the island of Java. He told me the locals spoke of similar crimes that had taken place in nearby villages.

In 2017, Dutch-Swiss historian Rémy Limpach published an 870-page book – with more than 2,400 footnotes – about Dutch war crimes that had been committed in 1947 and 1948 in the Dutch Indies against independence fighters and criminal bands. He concluded that these crimes were structural, not incidental, as had been previously claimed. The book gives many examples of the soldiers committing arson, torturing and shooting prisoners, and killing women and children. It also mentions their rape of minors. Several reviews were published, but there were no major reactions in Dutch society.

I asked two leading Dutch historians why the Netherlands is so indifferent towards its problematic past. Frank van Vree answered: “The history of war memory shows that the Netherlands is willing to look at the weaknesses of its society. But at the same time, the obstinate thought exists that the Netherlands has erred in many ways; but all in all, it has done many things better than others…The feeling of  ‘if we haven’t done it well, we’ve done it better than others’ is deeply ingrained in Dutch culture. On the one hand, there is an acknowledgement, on the other hand, there is glossing over.”

Hans Blom said, “The Netherlands is a country where the need to make compromises was present very intensely early in its history. In addition, one can say that the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th century has developed a tradition to think that ‘we’ are a country with very high moral standards. In the 19th century, it became unavoidably clear that the powerful Netherlands of the Republic of the United Netherlands was no longer a significant factor…In these small Netherlands, a self-image emerged that it is nicer to be the world’s most moral nation, rather than the most powerful. In such a tradition of high moral self-image, it is more difficult to publicly and properly treat events where that is evidently not the case.”

In this environment of make-believe, Dutch PM Mark Rutte even dared, in 2015, to say about the Netherlands: “We have a marvellously perfect country, full of energy and creativity.”

The above are only some examples of Dutch indifference to its own criminal past. Many others can be added. Neglecting this past enables the Dutch government and parts of the political system to act as moral judges over others. Israel is a prime target.

Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ is a Senior Research Associate at the BESA Center and a former chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He specializes in IsraeliWestern European relations, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism, and is the author of The War of a Million Cuts.

The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (also known by its acronym, the BESA Center) is an independent, non-partisan think tank conducting policy-relevant research on Middle Eastern and global strategic affairs, particularly as they relate to the national security and foreign policy of Israel and regional peace and stability.

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The stench of hate, pure evil and foul disease continues in Gaza unabated.

OPINION: Part II | Alan Simons

This article has been updated from a previous version.

This weeks’ abhorrent theatre by Gazans in their attempt to lure and kill Israeli kindergarten children, see above photo, coupled with Gaza’s list of mediocre actors performing on the world stage and screaming to get attention, smells worse than a dozen rotten eggs and burning tires floating on a polluted lake.
Gazans, over the years, have had every opportunity to join the civilized world. Unfortunately, led by a bunch of deluded psychopaths, they continue to utterly fail.

 

by Alan Simons

There are good and bad individuals in all societies and cultures. However, neither are judged by its individuals, as much as being judged by its actions as a whole.

According to UK Media Watch, “Palestinians in Gaza today launched an incendiary device into Israel using Minnie Mouse as bait, in order to lure children. (Per i24NEWS English)

“It landed in an Israeli kindergarten near the border, but, luckily, it was retrieved and neutralised before anyone was hurt.”

For the most part, I have attempted to keep out of writing about much of the hate and intolerance that emanates from Gaza. One can never objectively express a common-sense opinion to a repulsive society that, from its very beginning, emphasizes with passion their primary duty in life from birth is to kill, in whatever means at their disposal, as many Israeli children or adults, as possible.

It’s a known fact, if you want to take control of the minds and souls of your citizens, you start with the children. In this, Gaza excels, and they’re probably better at it than Daesh (ISIS), Hezbollah, the Syrians and Iranians and all the other psychopaths living in the region. Today, in the Gaza Strip, the obsessive devotion to killing Jews starts at an early age and is as much a part of the child’s growth as learning to count.

In past years we have been subjected to a plethora of videos emanating out of the Gaza Strip where its children have proudly expressed a willingness to kill Jews, much of which has gone unabated, without the slightest expression of rage, from western-based non-government organisations and UN officials, whose sole interest in life is to make sure their personal monthly incomes continue as well as the successful solicitation for ongoing funding.

Much of the western media refuse to express an honest opinion of the abhorrent hatred existing in the Gaza Strip. I am sure they fear they will lose their accreditation and thus their ability of, dare I say it, of reporting with ‘impartiality’ in this godforsaken strip of land.

Tarek Fatah, the well-known and respected Canadian writer, activist and a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, stated at a UNHRC Geneva conference in 2013, “Any nation, any society, any country that is created on the basis of a hatred towards the others, will soon run out of people that it can hate or groups it can decimate and it will devour itself.”

Perhaps it’s time we take Fatah seriously and look at this strip of land as a lost cause. After all, none of the region’s Arabs, want anything to do with it, unless it is to incite Gazans to kill as many Jews as possible.

“Gaza? The stench of hate, pure evil and foul disease continues unabated.”

Killing Jews also strikes a euphoric chord with today’s adult masses. For devoid of reality, it appeals to many of the region’s adults who, through their earlier years of exposure to child abuse and indoctrination, prefer to ‘return’ to their childhood era where magical thinking reigned supreme. For them, “Kill the Jews” has a nice ring to it. And for many of the western media, the very thought of it surely is better than reporting about how the State of Israel is doing its darnedest to assist Syrians through its Operation Good Neighbor project, or saving the lives of many of Gaza’s children brought to hospitals in Israel.

Over the years I have seen groups of splenetic small-minded antisemitic bigots of this world, from both the far-left and the far-right, become more adventurous in their misguided fantasy that we Jews are weak, pathetic individuals, without any backbone. Oh, are they misguided! The Gazans haven’t quite figured that one out!

Yes, there was a special time when those living in the West on the left of the political spectrum came to the defence of us Jews. After all, then we were weak thriving to earn a day-to-day humble living. Those days have far gone! Now, many of the current generations of left-wingers thrive on seeing us as target practice against their new-found friends, the weak and maladjusted living in Gaza.

“Let my people go,” has become the rallying point for many of these demented souls espousing the plight of Gaza’s people caused, in their belief, by Israel and its people and for that matter all Jews.

Over the years we have seen once respected newspapers, such as Britain’s The Guardian, turn its back on striving to present a balanced view of Middle East issues, but now in the forefront of stoking the fires of antisemitism and hate.

Over the years we have seen NGOs and international rights groups fervently compete for funding by branding themselves as leading authorities on Middle East issues – translate this as Israel apartheid – yet refuse to focus their resources on victims of democide in the region.

“Gaza? The stench of hate, pure evil and foul disease continues unabated.”

 

We have seen both young and old, male and female Israelis murdered, we have seen components of the British Labour Party outwardly show their vindictiveness towards British Jews.

We have seen Jews and Muslims come together in an honest attempt to resolve their differences, that is, as long as the name Israel, for the Muslim, isn’t mentioned by the Jews.

Last year, we saw Gazan psychopaths again taking to the streets by showering its citizens with candies in response to the news that a 19-year-old Palestinian teenager stabbed to death an Israeli 70-year-old grandfather and his two adult children, and gravely wounded his wife in their home.

Celebrating and praising their own murderers is part of their stagnant hypoxia mentality. It is not mine or yours. To partially quote Tarek Fatah, “Let them devour themselves.”

Gazans, over the years, have had every opportunity to join the civilized world. Unfortunately, led by a bunch of deluded psychopaths, they have utterly failed. It is they who have failed. We must not carry any guilt for their actions.  If they wish to be devoured, it is their choice and their choice alone!

Clamouring to celebrate the daily antisemitic claptrap and hate mongering diatribe against Israel and all Jews, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Hamas continues to threaten Israel with an abhorrence selection of vile and psychotic disorders that must have dead Nazis applauding in their graves.

Gaza’s Hamas: A bunch of failed deluded theatrical psychopaths.

Dr Martin Sherman is the founder and CEO of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  In an interview he gave on May 29, 2018, on Israel’s ILTV he said:

“The only solution to Gaza is not reconstruction but deconstruction… Because of the nature of the society in Gaza, this will go on and on and in the end, to put it bluntly, there will either be a large Arab population in Gaza or Jews in the Negev. But, there won’t be both over time.”

The interviewer remarked that out of roughly two million Gazans who are living in the Strip, not all of them are in Hamas’ pockets, to which Sherman replied:

“We should stop considering Palestinians as prospective peace partners and relate them as they relate to themselves, as implacable enemies and treat them as such. In the Second World War, not all the Germans were bad people, but when you have a class of collectives you must decide which collective you want to win, yours or theirs. And if you’re willing to sacrifice your individual, your collective rights for their individual rights, you’re going to lose.”

A theatre of violence

For now, one might look at it in the same way as a long-running theatre performance. Every full-house performance has a standing ovation for violent acts, which Jews of the diaspora are befuddled in how one should respond.

This past weeks’ abhorrent theatre by Gazans with their list of mediocre actors performing on the world stage and screaming to get attention, smells worse than a dozen rotten eggs and burning tires floating on a polluted lake.

It is a repetitive theatre, encouraged and thoroughly enjoyed by antisemites, the hate-mongers of this world, the Palestinian flag-waving members of the British Labour Party, as well as Nazi extremists in many countries clamouring to outdo each other.

Are Martin Sherman’s comments accurate? Should one treat Gazans as they relate to themselves, as ruthless enemies? Will Jews of the diaspora understand, placating one’s enemies will not help Gazans discover their humanity?

For Gazans, discovering humanity will mean they first have to lose face. And culturally, that’s no easy task!

So be it!

 

(Featured image: UK Media Watch)

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Diaspora Jews. What do we want? Leaders!

OPINION | Alan Simons

“Popularized by the American sociologist Barry Glassner, the culture of fear is the concept that people may incite fear in the general public to achieve political or workplace goals through emotional bias.”

“Non-Jews do not care a damn about our achievements!”

     by Alan Simons

Egged on by Trumptwits International (2016) Inc., the culture of fear is proliferating world-wide at a frightening rate. And for a great majority of diaspora Jews steeped in their historical obsession that at last resort now there’s always Israel to flee to, are becoming more inward-looking and hell-bent on building their own protective wall against antisemitism. In addition, promoting the never-ending old joke such as, “When does a Jewish fetus become viable? When it graduates from medical school.” Or, the study that Jews are the world’s most-educated religious group or  22.5% of Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Jews, not only isolates us more than ever from the society we live in, but our non-Jewish neighbours couldn’t care less and for the most part are sick to death of us continually asserting ourselves, ploughing a knife into them on these subjects. In essence, non-Jews do not care a damn about our achievements!

Encouraged by the rhetoric of Mr T, who just hours ago in a political speech referred to himself as a “Nationalist”, for many a frightening euphemism for white nationalism, we are experiencing a terrifying political infectious disease containing no international borders. White nationalism and Nazism is rampant today and Trumptwit is a language common to many people, irrespective of the country one lives in.

Today, we are experiencing an upsurge from politicians, the antisemites, the hate mongers, and tenured university bigots, who publicly vilify and delegitimize diaspora Jews.

Diaspora Jews have become fearful of the political consequences now taking place in many of their respective countries, a trait not particularly acknowledged by many of them before Trumptwits International was incorporated in 2016. Yet, it’s always been there, hasn’t, hovering in the background, waiting for the Trumptwits to ignite the fire.

J.J. Rousseau, the 18th century French philosopher said, “The Jews in Dispersion have not the possibility of proclaiming their own truth to humankind; but I believe that when they once have a free Commonwealth, with schools and universities of their own where they can speak out safely, we shall be able to learn what it is that the Jewish people have to say to us.”

To which I might add, today we Jews are still trying to communicate, to coexist with each other, let alone trying to figure out what we have to say to all the billions of non-Jews!

Communication is about giving-taking, asking-answering, sending-receiving. It’s not something we Jews are known to be good at. Yes, I recognize in many countries Jews sit on various inter-faith committees that encourage dialogue and cooperation. And the work they are doing in their field is mind-boggling, until the name of Israel is asserted by them!

As Frank Luntz, the US-based political and business pollster has pointed out, “Why do Jews make such lousy communicators? For hundreds of years, we used the great art of language development to entertain as well as educate. It is no coincidence that so many of the great intellectuals, academics, writers and performers come from our ranks.”

He adds, “The ability of Jews to understand and connect with people transcends international boundaries. It is in our culture and in our blood. But over the years, we have developed some very destructive communication habits that have seriously undermined our efforts and the causes we believe in. Our words lose their resonance and our style and tone offend. We assert when we should inform. We reject when we should interject. We push people away when we should pull them in.” As he remarked, “Non-Jews do not want to hear our complaints. They want to know our solutions.”

We need a leader to bring us together, a leader amongst the diaspora ranks, each in our own particular country we can point to, who stands head and shoulders above us, to communicate to non-Jews on our behalf. Sadly, no one in Canada, or the USA or the UK is there such a person willing to come forward on our behalf, unless they see an Israel component to the message.

So, what do we want?

“You Jewish people. What exactly do you want?” How many times have we heard this question from non-Jews? Well actually, we don’t know what we want, do we? Which is abysmal, since as Jews we’ve had more time than anyone else to come up with the answer. Perhaps we will never reach an answer. Perhaps there isn’t one. Perhaps we don’t want to. Perhaps we are so ingrained in believing no one really cares about who we are. And after so many centuries of us having to endure pograms and genocides, we have turned to indifference as many Jews now have in the USA. For many, being a Jew is simply down to going out on an early Sunday morning to purchase a dozen bagels, lox and cream cheese. And as for Israel? Well, they wish it would just go away!

What this all boils down to is this: Trumptwits International (2016) Inc. and its ever-increasing mob mentality, has become unable not only to differentiate between ignorance and conscientious stupidity but the ability to make intelligent decisions. And coupled with Nationalism, we diaspora Jews, are in for a rough time if we don’t get our act together and communicate as one.

It was Napoleon Bonaparte who was overheard to say that in politics, stupidity is not a handicap, a statement Trumptwit subordinates in their eagerness to please their leaders are making every effort to accept.

It’s been said Trumptwits are analogous to the zebra mussel, a species originally native to the lakes of southern Russia and accidentally introduced to numerous other areas. It has become an invasive species in many different countries worldwide, including the USA and Canada.

To quote Elie Wiesel: “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” As diaspora Jews, our alarming silence and our indifference to the nationalists and their cronies will be our demise. Our willingness, as diaspora Jews, to openly declare our achievements in the fields of arts and letters with non-Jews and at the same time use them instinctively for self-preservation, no longer works in today’s society. 

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