As background to “Bad news from the Netherlands”, one must recall that one-sided adverse news has virtually turned Israel into a pariah nation predominantly emanating from both politically inspired prejudice of non-involved nations, and self-proclaimed victim-hood of Arab nations.
Such one-sided news represents a distortion of the actual picture, but is sufficient to convince unwary bystanders.
Repeated Israeli attempts to negotiate peace programs have failed to achieve Palestinian reciprocity. Instead they have led to constant upgrading of demands by Palestinian Arab Muslims. Historically-documented attempts at “partition”, Oslo Accords, Gaza withdrawal etc. are misrepresented, ignored or denied by the international media, with growing international anti-Semitism. This has encouraged appeasement policies of recent and current Israeli governments into a “cycle of appeasement”.
This appeasement is in ignorance of, or massive denial of openly expressed hatred and desire to destroy Israel. Indoctrination programs in Arabic on Arab television, newspapers and elsewhere, publicly proclaim this and are freely quoted by Israeli NGOs such as Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI.
The “Bad News from the Netherlands” blog is partially a “grass-roots” inspired activity. A selection of negative true newsprint items deliberately chosen, announced, and disseminated as such, about the Netherlands by Manfred Gerstenfeld prompted requests from Netherlanders to establish a blog. This has achieved great success, acquiring a steady stream of contributors and arousing general interest.
This blog demonstrates how easy it is to represent or misrepresent a country.
So one has to question why do people want to reprocess already-printed material?
Brief review of 50 consecutive items printed indicated the following topics:
issues of public safety; community rights; functioning of the Justice System; criticism of various government measures, bureaucratic inefficiency and failures; increasing criminality e.g. among the elderly, children carrying weapons to school, domestic violence, decreasing street safety.
Problems associated with increasing influx of immigrants; “police-free” no man’s lands,
particularist Muslim behaviors – female circumcision, Muslim women refusing treatment by male doctors. These are all concerns regarding public welfare.
So what can be deduced about this self-selected group of concerned citizens who contribute to the blog? That they feel the need to express themselves in these days of increasing “political correctness” is self-evident. In light of recent events in the Netherlands this is not surprising.
The political relativism of the Netherlands is considered to be among the worst in Europe, expressed by a laissez faire policy and “no-go” zones avoided by the police. Within the past 5 years, Pim Fortuyn, a conservative politician concerned about rising social tensions due to Muslim immigrants, was murdered, (2002); and Theo Van Gogh the film-maker of “Submission”, who criticized Islam, was particularly brutally murdered by numerous stabbings and a near beheading. Such assassinations of prominent figures have been virtually unknown in other core countries of Europe (i.e. those prior to the recent expansion of the European Union).
This combination of provocation and inadequate government action results in general anxiety, fear, and anger and may well contribute to the public reaction and ready interest in the “Bad News....” blog. The situation of growing immigrant unrest and thrust for autonomy may be of concern contributing to overall societal anxiety, which reflects also on other aspects of the public good, as noted in the selection of fifty items represented in the review mentioned above. The present emphasis on multiculturalism encourages all to pursue their own group autonomy, a clear threat to the indigenous population. This contrasts with societal pluralism which sustains the human rights of all for freedom of expression and religion except when it impinges on, or threatens, to undermine others or overthrow the host country. European multiculturalism is beginning to be perceived as a future existential threat to European society, as we know it.
Any charismatic leader and protest movement must have a support section from society e.g. Nazis in Germany, terrorist leaders and group survival. This notion has been proposed by Hannah Arendt, Sigmund Freud, T. Adorno, and Heinz Kohut among others, and is based on deep-seated emotions which resonate between leaders and followers.
It applies to sinister movements, but is also applicable to constructive movements.
Accordingly one can assume that the blog responders welcomed the leadership which permitted more critical discussion than that imposed by the “code” of “political correctness” and that they represent a much larger segment of the population.
Major newspapers, Miami Herald, Volkskrant (Netherlands), Jerusalem Post, and Ha’aretz have shown interest in the reaction to this deliberately one-sided blog and may sense this to be a revolt against the politically correct “dumbness” imposed by currently acceptable thinking, and adopted by the media.
That virtually autonomous regions of foreign virtual sovereignty herald increasing Islamization of Europe, is doubtless of concern to many citizens. Some European governments are beginning to react to counteract these tendencies, but in small, hesitant doses and with slow implementation.
The clash between the call for human rights in democracies, and that engendered by the need for security of a given population is complex, not easily solved, and yet urgently demanding of attention.