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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Geert Wilders: 'Israel is fighting our battle'

Yedioth's weekend Hebrew edition interviewed Dutch politician Geert Wilders over the weekend. The translated interview appears at Gates of Vienna (Hat Tip: Tundra Tabloids). Here are some excerpts.
In two weeks Wilders is coming for a visit to Israel as a guest of a parliament member Ariel Eldad. He is invited to participate in a conference against the two-state solution.

“Israel is the lighthouse and the only democracy in this backward and dictatorial part of the world,” he proclaims. “Israel is very close to us, to our European identity. Israel fights our war.”


Wilders (47) is one of the most ardent and loud of Israel’s supporters in Europe, and contrary to many others he does not bother to hide this. He had even insisted on including in the platform of the new Dutch government the intention to improve relations with Israel.

“I am very glad that Israel is the only country mentioned by name in the platform; this will get it the needed attention,” he said “We are Israel’s best friends and we will support it in any way possible.” He bursts out laughing when asked about allegations of his being an “Israeli agent”.

“Common!” he says “It is obvious that I am not an Israel’s spy. It is insane. I am a Dutch politician and I work for Holland and what is best for its citizens. But I am a friend of Israel, and I am not afraid to say so. Because of my open support of Israel, people who do not like me invent these stories. The Iranian press states that I am a Mossad agent. Jordanians call me Shabak’s man. It’s nonsense.”

His romance with Israel started when he was 17 years old and came here to work as a volunteer for a year. “I enjoyed it very much, and not only because of the beautiful Israeli girls,” he recalls. “I was not involved in politics back then at all. I worked in the tourist industry in Eilat, a bakery plant in Jerusalem, and the cooperative settlement Tomar in the Jordan Valley. I went through some tense times in Tomar because the border with Jordan was not very secure. We had to take shelter from time to time when terrorists managed to cross over. We saw the arrival of IDF helicopters — for someone from the south of Holland who went to Amsterdam just a few times, those were very impressive experiences.”

Over the years Wilders visited many Muslim countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia and Afghanistan. “I’ve met with some very friendly people over there, too,” he clarifies, “but the power in those countries is in the hands of the dictators. These people deserve better living conditions.”

He has many friends in Israel, and some of them are politicians. He had a very warm relationship with Ariel Sharon for example, whom he still admires. “Sharon was demonized in the West, too, but he was a great politician, and I take an example from him,” Wilders emphasizes.

“I believe that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not territorial. Anyone who claims otherwise has no idea what he is talking about. If you gave up Western Bank and East Jerusalem and let the Palestinians have it, that would not end the conflict. It will take some time — a month, a year, ten years — but they will demand the rest of your country, because it is an ideological conflict. The solution therefore could not be territorial; it has to be ideological.

“Palestinians believe — and this is the nature of Islam — that Israel is theirs, and through the struggle with Israel they fight the non-Muslim West. The fight against Israel is the fight against us. We are Israel. The reason for Dutch parents’ good night sleep with no worries for their children is that parents in Israel go through sleepless nights because their children are in the Army. It does not mean that Israel cannot be criticized, but I am not ashamed to fight for Israel.”

At the conference Wilders will try to convince the public that Palestinians already have a country of their own. “Jordan is Palestine,” he states. “This was true in the past after Sykes-Picot agreement, and thus it is a solution to the conflict. Even the Jordan kings, Abdulla and Hussein, said so in the past. Only after they realized that these statements could endanger their reign, because Palestinians are a majority in Jordan, did they change their minds. I am against the idea of transfer or ethnic cleansing, but if Jordan became Palestine, it would be possible to encourage Palestinians to move there. Of course I will not be the one who decides how to end this conflict. Israel is a democracy and will decide for itself which solution is best for it. It is your decision.”
Read the whole thing. He's excellent.

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At 2:19 PM, Blogger Joe Kelsall said...

Just make sure that this Dutchman doesn't lead you into his WilderMess !


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