A while back I mentioned provincial Dutch Catholicism as having produced that bitter anti-Semite Andries van Agt.
Former prime-minister Andreas Antonius ('Dries') van Agt is a type very common in Europe, where some people (perhaps subconsciously) regret that Hitler didn't 'finish the job', and others have become hatefilled Xenophobes since the various socialist governments of the eighties and nineties let in 'all those damn foreigners'.
The conflict between liberal values and rigidly conservative social conditioning produces strange and interesting results.
Many small-town Europeans suffer from anomie, and a sense that people who are not like them (and therefore wrong wrong wrong!) have taken over the world. It grieves them.
Dries van Agt is the paradigm of that type and their venomously disapproving attitude.
For a number of years now he has vented an anti-Semitism no less virulent for being garbed in language which is considered politically correct in the Netherlands - where the excuse that criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic probably originated.
[Many Dutch slam Israel in the most repellent terms, then blandly explain that it is the hyper-sensitivity of unreasonable Jews to object. The Dutch, in fact, 'are Israel's staunchest supporters, always have been, they too suffered during the war (and why do you Jews keep bringing that period back up?!?), and if Jews were normal people (instead of hatefilled racist jerks) they would seriously listen to what sensible folk in all sincerity tell them'.]
My exceedingly low opinion of Andries van Agt prompted a reader to complain at length.
The ensuing discussion is reproduced below.
[What prompted this rehash? Well, a spam-moron tried to seed an old blog-post, which made me revisit it. What I said then is just as valid now - Andries van Agt is still alive, still spreading hatred, and other things have also hardly changed.]
"Dries van Agt our former prime minister does have an opinion, to write him to be an anti Semite is out of order. What do you call a person like Jonathan Pollard or an action like the sinking of the USS Liberty in 1967."
No, van Agt is indeed an anti-Semite. There is no doubt about it.
Jonathan Pollard is a spy. Why do you bring him up? I shall never defend him, and his weal and woe are of no consequence to me.
The sinking of the USS Liberty was a mistake. And a particularly stupid one at that. Opinions are divided over the cause and circumstances.
Just like there are diverse opinions over the unfortunate "accidents" that caused the death of Leon Klinghofer, or the 241 US Marines who inexplicably perished in Beirut in 1983.
To the European supporters of the Palestinians, those deaths were both accidental and justified. Obviously, as an American, I have a different opinion. I also don't think that the plane that fell out of the sky over Lockerbie simply malfunctioned, but I've heard that better educated European engineering experts have concluded that there were defective engine parts..... sloppy American manufacturing, I suppose.
Nevertheless, that too is a European opinion I cannot share. Must be a personal defect.
"It is impossible for you to judge Dries van Agt, a decent person with style and best of all humor.
He might tell what a lot of people do not want to hear, if he is an anti-Semite than what should we call the people of 'Een Ander Joods Geluid'."
What should we call them?
I love multiple choice questions!!!
Scared of the society in which they live.
All of the above.
And the answer is ... (wait for it) .... EIGHT.
Concerning Dries van Agt, trust me, I know more about that man than I care to. Self-satisfied and self-righteous people like him are unfortunately a dime a dozen.
Plus that verkrampte Kattelieke background from whence he sprang, I've had exposure to that. He may have lost some of the religious convictions of that environment and that upbringing - but he has not lost either the anger, or the fanaticism.
He is, like so many Dutchmen, absolutely certain that he is right. And therefore convinced that those who hold a different opinion are wrong - and not only wrong, they must be evil.
"But what if you too are wrong. How do you know your thoughts are the right one. We can't be this bad, Obama has partial roots in the Netherlands."
Shoot, if I had known that about Obama, I wouldn't have voted for him!
Hee hee hee.
Well, you aren't ALL that bad. Some of you are far worse, and a few are much better.
As someone recently suggested, there's a proportion of halvegaren in every population. I'm inclined to think that there are just more of them on the other side of the Atlantic, especially in small tightly packed countries. Living so close together makes for a greater degree of dysfunctionality, don't you agree?
The flip answer to your question about my assurance that I am right would be that I am not thinking in Dutch, therefore I am far less likely to be wrong.
In actuality, I cannot KNOW that I am right.
But I do know that most of the anti-Israel rhetoric is wrong. Wrong in the sense of ignorant, wrong in the sense of biased, wrong in that it holds Israel to a higher standard than any other nation, wrong in that it reacts with outrage at almost everything Israel does (while often 'eliding' over the most egregious acts of Arabs), and wrong in that it nuances and spins the hatred and violence of one side, while insisting that the other side is eternally the aggressor.
"To a lot of people in Israel Jonathan Pollard is a hero and should be released as soon as possible."
Somewhat less than respectfully, I disagree with them and their point of view.
Yes, he forwarded data which the Israelis had a right to under agreements with the US government. And yes, if the US government had held to those agreements, the Israelis would have gotten that data anyway. And another yes, due to the interference of such high-placed administration officials as Caspar Weinberger, Pollard was slammed with the maximum sentence, unlike such clear enemy agents as members of the East-bloc diplomatic corps, Chinese governmental functionaries in the US, and Arab students.
But he broke our laws. I do not care what his motivation was, nor do I care how disproportionate his sentence. He put himself beyond my concern by acting not as an American, nor as a concerned citizen, but as a spy.
I can understand that many Israelis consider him a hero, and wish him released. They are entitled to their wrong opinion.
Pollard, as far as I'm concerned, needs to sit in jail forever.
Just as Mordechai Vanunu SHOULD HAVE.
I have no sympathy for the double standards of the European and American left (and the entire frikkin' third world) as regards Israel, and I will disagree with those who support Israel when they show anything approaching such a bias.
Israel has a right to exist, with secure borders, in peace.
I refuse to have anything to do with people who yell 'itbach al Yahud
' (slaughter the Jews), 'Falastin balad'na w'al Yahud qalab'na
' (Palestine is our land and the Jews are our dogs), 'ba ruh, ba dam, nafdeek ya Falastin
' (with our soul, with our blood, we will redeem you oh Palestine), 'al mawt al Yahud
' (death to the Jews), or even that popular slogan used by American leftwing anti-Semites, which is echoed at every single pro-Pally demonstration in Western Europe: "all of Palestine will be free from the river to the sea
" - which frankly states the intent to destroy the Jewish state and ethnically cleanse the land.
That is the behaviour of Berkeleyites and thugs, and has occurred at every pro-Palestinian rally for as long as I can remember. It is wrong.
By standing with those who utilize those slogans, activists validate and endorse such ideas. Which includes people like Andries van Agt, Gretta Duisenberg, Anja Meulenbelt, and countless thousands of 'politically correct' Dutchmen, Englishmen, Frenchmen, and other Europeans.
At one demonstration in front of the consulate on Montgomery Street, I was informed that I was a dog, a pig, a monkey, inhuman, the son of a whore, and that I deserved to be shot, gutted, slashed open, have my children killed, and see my wife raped. This by several supporters of the Palestinian cause.
I was also told that I am a 'Jew faggot'. I humbly accept that appellation as a badge of honour - what the Dutch would call a 'geuzenaam'.
Angry riots and threats of death, plus several incidents that could have become violent, do not leave me with any positive appreciation of the pro-Palestinian side. Which includes Bay Area Women in Black, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, and International ANSWER, in addition to agitators bused in from San Jose (South Bay Mobilization), Marin, and various heathenish pig-butt boondocks.
For the time being I shall not shop at most Arab-owned businesses, and I will NOT be patronizing ANY Pakistani enterprises - most especially not Shalimar (run by a bunch of untkichotes from Peshawar and Lahore), Darbar (Indian, but arrogant Delhiwallah muslims - sab Delhi-main baqrichot hai), any of the shitty Paki dabbas in the tenderloin (all of them are bigots and unclean), or any Indian restaurant that does NOT have a Sikh on staff.
I will, however, continue to drop by the place run by Monzer from Gaza.
Despite the horrendously offensive things that come out of his mouth, and his verbal slamming of every ethnic group not his own, he has shown by his treatment of others that he does not put his bias into practice, wishes well on almost everybody, and appreciates anyone who treats others with respect.
Though his wine is vile and undrinkable, his consideration and kindness to many in his neighborhood is exemplary and deserves commendation.