Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders reaffirms Norway killer’s goals but rejects methods

Dutch politician, and leading European Islamophobe Geert Wilders says Anders Breivik, who perpetrated the massacre of dozens of people in Norway is actually inspired by Al Qaeda.

And, while rejecting the massacre of innocents in Norway, Wilders affirms his support for the “anti-Islamization” to which the killer was committed.

Wilders says the Norway massacre must not be allowed to discredit the broader anti-Muslim campaign in Europe, which the “Freedom Party” Wilders leads has spearheaded.

The Dutch politician, whose party supports his country’s ruling coalition in parliament, has been in the spotlight as a result of the attack. The perpetrator of the Norway massacre, Anders Breivik cited Wilders’ anti-Muslim views extensively and approvingly in his manifesto explaining that he carried out the massacre to spark a “civil war” to rid Europe of Muslims.

In a Dutch-language statement on the website of the Freedom Party (known by its Dutch initials PVV), Wilders wrote:

The brutal murders a few days ago of dozens of innocent Norwegian citizens has deeply shocked the PVV. We mourn and stand with the Norwegian people who have have been struck with this enormous blow.

Wilders forcefully rejected any responsibility that his hate-filled anti-Muslim propaganda could have inspired the killer and instead sought to cast the blame back on Muslims, writing:

The manifesto of the perpetrator makes clear that this is a madman. He wants to work with Al Qaeda (which he cherishes great admiration for)…

He then goes on to state that Breivik’s act must not be allowed to discredit his anti-Muslim campaign:

Neither the PVV nor I are responsible for a lone idiot who twisted and violently abused freedom-loving anti-Islamization ideals, no matter how much some people would like that. We are democrats at heart. The PVV has never, ever called for violence and will never do. We believe in the power of the ballot box and the wisdom of the voter. Not bombs and guns. We fight for a democratic and nonviolent means against the further Islamisation of society and will continue to do so. The preservation of our freedom and security is our only goal.

It seems impossible to imagine a politician in any European democracy speaking openly of “freedom-loving anti-Semitic ideals” or “freedom-loving anti-Jewish ideals” yet Wilders’ words indicate just how acceptable this kind of sentiment has become when directed at Muslims.

And, despite his affirmations that he doesn’t support violence, Wilders has been the leading European supporter of violent Israeli settlers, bent on expelling Palestinians from the occupied West Bank by any means necessary. Last year Wilders spoke at a conference of Israeli settler leaders who advocate following Israel’s violent colonization of Palestinian land in violation of international law with formal annexation of the territory.

Along with becoming an iconic figure for European and American Islamophobes, Wilders has been a leading force in the Dutch government’s shift to embrace Israel’s extreme right-wing government.

(Ali Abunimah / electronicintifada.net / 26.07.2011)

 

Palestinian children endure systematic abuse from Israel’s military courts, say reports

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An Israeli soldier stands guard next to three Palestinian boys who were arrested for throwing stones during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron.

BEIT UMMAR, WEST BANK // Military justice came to Sami on March 8 when two-dozen Israeli commandos raided his home shortly after midnight. The 15-year-old Palestinian’s family watched as soldiers bound his hands, slipped over a blindfold and arrested him without offering an explanation.

Sami recounted in an interview how he was forced to walk three kilometres beyond his village, Beit Ummar, to a nearby Jewish settlement.

There, he said soldiers kicked him so hard that they bruised his ribs. At one point, he was seated on the floor ground between two sofas, which soldiers used as a vice to squeeze his rail-thin body.

“I tried to firm my body up to stop it. I couldn’t breathe,” said Sami, whose full name has been withheld at his family’s request.

He said he was pressured to confess to throwing stones at settlers, for which he recently finished serving four months in Israeli prisons.

His experience is indicative of what rights groups are calling an alarmingly common ordeal for West Bank Palestinian children.

Palestinian minors caught up in Israel’s military judicial system are described as enduring systematic abuse in two reports released this month by the Israeli watchdog of the occupied Palestinian territories, B’tselem, and Defence for Children International (DCI), a Geneva-based non-governmental organisation.

The reports say the system that has prevailed over West Bank Palestinians for more than four decades condones police intimidation of children, some as young as 9, in the form of physical and verbal assault, denying parental visitations, handing down harsh prison sentences and pressuring guilty confessions during violent, closed-door interrogation sessions.

In sworn testimonies of 45 children arrested during first half of this year, 39 complained of physical assault (slapping, kicking and punching) during their arrest, transfer or interrogation, DCI said in it report. In one of the report’s testimonials, Ahmad, 16, who was arrested in April, recalls how an Israeli interrogator told him to confess, or else: “I’ll open your arse in half”.

Another boy named Mohammed, 15, describes how Israeli soldiers beat him along with a group children after their February arrest in the village of Bili’in. One soldier called them “sons of whores”.

Although 28 out of the 45 children in the report were arrested for throwing stones, rights groups say they are unable to obtain precise information from Israel’s military on arrests.

A “pattern of systematic ill-treatment emerges, much of which amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, DCI concludes in its report, “In their own Words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military court system”.

Israel’s military judicial system has long been a lightning rod for criticism. While Palestinians are subjected to it, for example, critics point out that the West Bank’s 300,000 Jewish settlers are tried under Israeli civil law.

More than 700 Palestinian minors a year are thought to pass through the military judicial system, though rights observers are unable to obtain precise details from Israel. Once incarcerated, they are considered security prisoners and are therefore denied access to phone calls and, in most cases, parental visits.

The system practically facilitates their imprisonment by offering military prosecutors great leeway in pressuring guilty confessions, according to B’tselem’s report, “No Minor Matter”.

Military judges usually order Palestinian minors to remain in custody throughout the proceedings.

“As a result, many minors prefer to enter into a plea bargain, in which they confess to the charges against them, fearing that, if a trial is held, they would be kept in jail during the long period of time that it takes to complete the trial,” the report said.

The report said that between 2005 and 2010, 93 per cent of the 835 Palestinians who, aged 17 or younger, were arrested and prosecuted for stone throwing received sentences from a few days to as long as 20 months. Only one was acquitted.

Some of those jailed were younger than 14, even though imprisonment of children below that age inside Israel is prohibited, the report noted.

Israel’s military, however, called B’tselem’s report “unbalanced” and said its military judicial systems uses “great sensitivity” when it comes to minors.

“B’Tselem was made aware of 160 cases of stone throwing, including those involving minors, that resulted in the death and maiming of Israeli civilians and security forces,” the military said in a statement, without providing details.

Even so, Umm Mahmoud, 34, who lives in Beit Ummar, fears her 9-year-old son, Mahmoud, may never overcome the trauma of February 18. That was when soldiers, pointing automatic weapons at his father, pulled Mahmoud from the family as he played in the front yard and took him to an undisclosed location for more than six hours.

They later found out he had been taken to a police station at Kiryat Arba, an Israeli settlement, where soldiers repeatedly slapped Mahmoud, she said. “They told him, ‘if we see you throwing stones again, we’ll take you away forever’.”

They dropped off him at the Gush Etzion settlement later that night, never charging him with a crime, she said.

“I was worried Mahmoud would come back to me with a broken mind,” she said. “He still has nightmares about soldiers coming to our home.”

(www.uruknet.info / 26.07.2011)

Report: Settlers attack 3 Palestinian women

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Armed Israeli settlers attacked three Palestinian women driving near Ramallah on Monday evening, the Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported Tuesday.

The women were driving to their home in Beit Rima, south of Ramallah, when residents of the illegal Hallamish settlement attacked the vehicle, eyewitness Awad Mashal told Wafa.

The settlers smashed a window of the car and aimed a gun at the women, the witness said.

Renad Mashal, 19, has been unable to speak since the incident and two other passengers, aged 22 and 24, were injured by broken glass, the report said.

(www.maannews.net / 26.07.2011)

Flotilla murders split Israel, Turkey

Israel has been successful this week in postponing, yet again, the report that shows them attacking the Gaza flotilla aid convoy which had killed eight Turkish and one US citizen.

“The Israelis are running very scared now. They don’t know what to do but they have been successful, at least, this week in postponing, yet again, the report that shows there was an unprovoked attack with eight Turkish and one US citizens killed,” Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, tells Press TV in an exclusive interview.

Tel Aviv has been hard trying to mend its damaged relations with Ankara, devastated since the flotilla attack, before the publication of the report.

“The Israelis have lost Egypt, they’ve now lost Turkey, and they have the Palestinians adopting a new, very inventive method of resistance called civil disobedience, unarmed disobedience on their borders,” McGovern said.

Turkey has repeatedly said that the relations between the two sides can only be restored if Tel Aviv would apologize for the attack, compensate the families of those killed and the injured, and lift its deadly blockade on the Gaza Strip.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the six-vessel Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters to prevent the convoy from breaching its crippling blockade on the Palestinian territory.

In the assault, nine Turkish nationals, including a teenager with Turkish-US dual citizenship, were killed and dozens were injured.

(www.presstv.ir / 26.07.2011)

UN delays release of flotilla report at Israel’s request

A UN panel investigating a bloody Israeli interception of an aid flotilla on May 31, 2010, has postponed, once again, the release of its findings to allow for further efforts for Turkish-Israeli reconciliation.
The request for the delay came from Israel, officials said. The report was first expected to be released on July 7, but was postponed to July 27 to provide an opportunity for closed-door negotiations between Turkey and Israel on normalization of their relations to succeed. However, those negotiations failed to produce a solution. The UN panel’s report is now expected to be released on Aug. 20.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a proponent of reconciliation with Turkey, said on Sunday that he hoped the repeatedly deferred publication would again be pushed back “to provide more time to examine matters in-depth.”

Meanwhile, Turkey and Israel are preparing for a new round of discussions on reconciliation. Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu is set to travel to New York for talks with Israeli officials on Tuesday.

Turkey scaled down its relations with Israel after Israeli commandos killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American on one of the ships that took part in the aid flotilla, the Mavi Marmara. Turkey wants an apology for the bloody raid, a demand that has created rifts within the Israeli Cabinet.

On Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a strong opponent of an apology, said he would not resign if the government decides to apologize to Turkey. “Whether or not there is agreement in the government about this matter, this government is strong,” he told reporters. “No one is looking for excuses and reasons to leave the government.”

Israel’s debate over apologizing to Turkey has been spurred by its expectation that the UN report on the high seas interception will largely vindicate its Gaza blockade strategy. But Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, who has shown willingness to engage Hamas, the party that runs Gaza, on Saturday reiterated his view that the blockade is “illegal and inhuman” and insisted Israel must end it as another condition for rapprochement.

“He’s not exactly making it easy for us to apologize,” an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Reuters in response.

(www.todayszaman.com / 26.07.2011)

Op internet wemelt het van de ‘Breiviks’. Profeet Wilders moet geweldsretoriek uitleggen

PVV-leider Geert Wilders is veelal de eerste die moslims verantwoordelijk houdt voor terrorisme. Nu de Noorse anti-islam-terrorist Breivik 76 ‘multiculturalisten’ heeft vermoord, zit hijzelf in de verdediging. Ondertussen juichen sommige PVV-aanhangers om de aanslagen.

“Vreselijke aanslag in Oslo”, twitterde Wilders zaterdag. “Zoveel onschuldige slachtoffers van gewelddadige, zieke geest. PVV rouwt mee met nabestaanden en Noorse volk.” Daarna bleek dat hij 30 keer geciteerd werd in het manifest van de aanslagpleger.

Van dat rouwen is weinig te merken
Een verstandige, eerste reactie van Wilders. Maar er zijn grote twijfels over hoe “ziek” de PVV de geest van de 32-jarige Noor vindt. En ook over hoe “onschuldig” de PVV de sociaal-democratische slachtoffers acht. “Het boek van PVV-ideoloog Martin Bosma De schijn-élite van de valse munters lijkt een samenvatting van het ruim 1.500 pagina’s tellende manifest van Breivik”, schreef een lezer aan deze krant. Dat is een overdrijving, maar het woordgebruik van Breivik (“dhimmitude” voor onderwerping aan moslims) komt overeen.

En hoe zit het eigenlijk met dat “rouwen”? Op een forum van PVV-aanhangers is daar weinig van te merken. De slachtoffers worden aangeduid als “Noorse ettertjes” en de aanslag wordt gerechtvaardigd omdat zij Israël zouden willen boycotten. “Verdacht is ook dat Anja Meulenbelt zo met Noorwegen wegloopt”, schrijft een PVV’er over het voormalige SP-Kamerlid.

‘Wilders spuit oorlogsretoriek’
De PVV heeft net zoveel controle over het forum van haar aanhangers als de plaatselijke imam over ‘kutmarokkanen’ en Al Qaeda. Maar omdat Wilders moskees aanduidt als “haatkazernes”, wordt hem nu eenzelfde soort verantwoordelijkheid aangewreven.

Dagblad De Pers neemt vandaag stelling. Niet op de opiniepagina, maar in het achtergrondkatern. “Het is te gemakkelijk om dit af te doen met een korte tweet. En om verontwaardigd alle kritische vragen aan de kant te schuiven”, schrijven de redacteuren Dirk Jacob Nieuwboer en Peter Wierenga. De overeenkomsten tussen het gedachtegoed van Breivik en dat van Wilders, zijn partijideoloog Martin Bosma en andere islamcritici in de wereld zijn volgens de journalisten “simpelweg te groot”. Wilders deelt de kern van Breiviks wereldbeeld, menen zij. Dat Wilders geweld veroordeelt is volgens hen niet genoeg, want “tegelijk spuit hij felle oorlogsretoriek”.

Als voorbeeld citeert De Pers enkele uitspraken van Wilders uit 2008: “Bevrijding van de islam is het doel en wie niet meevecht een laffe Chamberlain. Als je niet wilt dat je zelf wordt opgegeten, zul je toch de ander moeten opeten.” Bovendien, zo schrijft de krant, strooit Wilders met verwijzingen naar de slag tegen de Moren bij Poitiers, naar die tegen de Turken bij Wenen en naar de Tweede Wereldoorlog. De Pers-redacteuren willen dat Wilders duidelijkheid geeft over hoe hij de “strijd tegen de islam voor zich ziet”.

Op een democratische en geweldloze manier, zei Wilders vanmorgen in een nieuwe verklaring. “De PVV noch ik zijn verantwoordelijk voor een eenzame verknipte idioot die de vrijheidslievende anti-islamiseringsidealen op gewelddadige manier misbruikt, hoe graag sommigen dat ook zouden willen. Wij zijn democraten in hart en nieren.”

Internetforum: ‘Paar lijken zijn ondergeschikt aan belang gemeenschap’
Columnist Bas Heijne gelooft “oprecht dat Wilders wakker ligt van de gebeurtenissen in Noorwegen”. Toch vindt ook hij dat Wilders zich er te gemakkelijk vanaf maakt. In nrc.next schrijft Heijne: “Is het puur toeval dat Breivik in zijn radicalisering bij dit gedachtegoed is blijven hangen? Had hij ook zonder dat gedachtegoed wel een keer op een menigte jongeren geschoten?” Dat Wilders’ verhaal radicalen aantrekt, die zijn oproep tot “vechten” niet opvatten als een uitnodiging tot deelname aan een moeizaam democratisch proces, kan volgens de columnist geen verbazing wekken. Het wordt volgens hem tijd dat Wilders uitlegt hoe hij zijn strijd tegen de islam precies wil vormgeven.

Die uitleg is in ieder geval nodig op de ‘anti-islamiseringsforums’. Daar wordt niet altijd begrepen dat Wilders’ superlatieven overdrachtelijk bedoeld zijn. Sterker, men schrijft in oorlogstermen en citeert Breivik met instemming. Volgens ‘Prof. Frikschoten’ (een pseudoniem) van The Amsterdam Post hebben “praten en het debat” geen zin meer. De blogger heeft het manifest van Breivik bestudeerd en zet net zo’n toontje op: “U staat als een kudde in een belegerde stad met uw blogjes en partijtjes, met het paard van Troje tegenover u, en op de muren en de wachttorens staan de sociaal-democraten u te controleren, te beschieten en te beschuldigen, leeg te zuigen en u te ontwapenen. Net zolang totdat u op de knieën ligt als slaaf, uw kop houdt en in het gareel loopt.”

Is dit retoriek of bittere ernst? De laatste alinea doet het ergste vermoeden. “Ja, ik zal het dan maar zeggen: ik kan het me voorstellen dat er iemand zou opstaan die de gewapende strijd oppakt om Europa wakker te schudden waarbij, net zoals in het marxisme en de islam, een paar lijken ondergeschikt zijn aan het belang van de gemeenschap.”

‘De kogels kwamen ditmaal van rechts’
Het zou geen kwaad kunnen als Wilders deze ‘Prof. Frikschoten’ uitnodigt voor een goed gesprek. Dat hij duidelijk maakt dat blogs best belangrijk zijn in een democratie. Dat er geen wapens opgepakt hoeven te worden als je van je af kunt schrijven. Desnoods 1.500 kantjes. Wie zou dit soort mensen anders tot de orde moeten roepen? Strafbaar is die blogtekst niet en iedere kritiek van ‘linkschmenschen’ is olie op het vuur.

Hans Moors, onderzoeker van radicalisme en extreem-rechts, zegt in De Volkskrant: “Ik zou het pas echt stoer vinden als Wilders niet alleen zou twitteren, maar zou reageren op de fora die zich binnen zijn invloedssfeer bevinden.” Breivik is geslaagd waar degenen die het proces tegen Wilders aanspanden hebben gefaald, concludeert historicus Dirk-Jan van Baar in dezelfde krant. De PVV-leider moet volgens hem voortaan een toontje lager zingen. “Links zal eraan herinneren dat de bom en de kogels ditmaal van rechts kwamen.”

(www.nrc.nl / 26.07.2011)