Not just of Flemish interest

It was written in the skies that the Flemish political adventure which was Vlaams Blok would not end with the decision by the Court of Cassation last week. The Party Council, comprising delegates from one thousand local Blok chapters, voted at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday morning in Antwerp to disband their Party.  The next vote brought into being a new party: Vlaams Belang – in English, Flemish Interest.

The cost of this historical action is high, put at two million dollars by the old leadership.  But that is a small price for freedom of speech and thought in Flanders.

Although it is of course terrible to say so, the recent political murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh has, along with the judicial murder of Vlaams Blok, given a boost to the debate about freedom in Belgium.  We all understand that you are free to speak and think or you are not.  A partial freedom is not freedom at all, and neither is a freedom that is limited by politico-judiciary chicanery.  In Flanders we say you become “mouth dead”.

People abroad don’t always understand why the Blok was so successful, all the more because of the hatchet job that was so skilfully performed on its reputation.  In the free encyclopedia Wikipedia it is written-off as a racist and would-be antisemitic party.  This is black propaganda, equivalent to claiming that Israelis make seder with the blood of Arab children.  It is a sad fact of human nature that when such stories are retailed there are always some who will believe them.

So what is the real nature of Flemish nationalism?  Well, read the Party Manifesto (below).  If ever it was what the Belgian government claims it to have been, this is now a respectable and modern European conservative party.  It is free-market oriented and possessed of many ethical concerns.  Moreover, the personnel and the Party meetings are very convincing and enthusiastic.  Being serious about power has become a political cliché in Britain.  But the men and women who gathered to inaugurate Vlaams Belang are exactly that.

For leftist and French-speaking Wallonia, this seriousness is their worst nightmare.  Brussels will be filled with busy groups of Walloon elite trying to find the means to stop the Flemish a second time.

Belgian Eurabia will be no less alarmed.  Vlaams Belang’s position on immigrants is that they should assimilate or return.  Actually in Belgium there are at least thirty radical imams and half of the Muslim executive is infiltrated by extremists.  It is widely considered to be a hotbed of small-scale street terror and bigger political terror.  According to the Dutch publicist Paul Scheffer between 3 and 5% of Muslims are personally willing to use violence if circumstances “require”.  One is not talking about self-defence here.  To put it another way, hundreds of potential terrorists are attended by an entourage of tens of thousands of sympathisers.

This is an urgent problem, alarming to Flemish and Walloons alike.  But for the Thought-Police, to say so with any force or clarity invites an instant investigation for racism and discrimination.  After all, doesn’t the Muslim traditionally protest any link between fundamentalist violence and his, of course, always tolerant religion?  Well, such protest doesn’t impress Vlaams Belang.

Will the Thought Police and the Belgian Establishment leave Vlaams Belang in peace in future? The Establishment was certainly surprised by the international reaction to last Tuesday’s court decision.  I quite expect them to lay low for a while.  But they don’t have much time left if they intend a repeat performance.  And it won’t be easy, even for them.  Vlaams Belang begins with a blank legal sheet.  But it has the backing of a million Flemish and who knows how many others disgusted by the Establishment’s dirty tricks.

Free speech will return to Flanders.  We will keep you informed every step of the way.


Vlaams Belang Manifesto

 

Principles

The Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) is the political mouthpiece of the Flemish Movement as it has developed through time. The party voices the demands of the Flemish Movement on the political scene.

The Vlaams Belang is a party of Flemish patriots. It is an instrument for the advancement of the national and cultural identity of Flanders. Through its political initiatives the Vlaams Belang aims to ensure that the organisation and government of the state are (co-)determined by the need to preserve the cultural identity and the national interests of the Flemish people. The state is but a structure. In accordance with the principle of self-determination the state exists to serve the people. The state should serve the people, not the other way round.

The ideology of the Vlaams Belang can be described, in the continental-European semantic context, as a “nationalist party of the right” (as opposed to the collectivist, statist “left”). In an Anglo-Saxon context the term “conservative” would be used (as opposed to “liberal”). Indeed, we recognise man as a free agent, with all his human qualities and flaws, and we reject ideologies that presuppose the “makeability” of mankind and that advocate social engineering. Tradition, virtues and morality, as these have grown through time, must be respected and are constitutive elements of the society of the future.

 

Identity

1. Flemish Independence
The Vlaams Belang strives for the secession of Flanders from the artificial Belgian state. Our aim is to dissolve Belgium and establish an independent Flemish state. This state will be sovereign over the Dutch-speaking territory of Belgium and will include Brussels, which is the capital of Flanders but will have a separate linguistic status.

2. The Netherlands and the Dutch Language.
Language is a constitutive element of a people’s cultural identity. The Vlaams Belang defends the interests of the Dutch-speaking people wherever this is necessary, particularly along the linguistic border and in the international institutions. The party will encourage Flanders to cooperate as closely as possible with the Netherlands and with Southern Flanders (the Dutch-speaking municipalities in the North of France).

3. Europe.
The cooperation of the European nations within a shared civilization and culture provides a historic opportunity for peace, stability and prosperity. However, we adopt a restrained and critical attitude towards the European Union with its bureaucracy and tendency to meddle where the sovereignty of the people should prevail. The Vlaams Belang also believes that the territory of the European Union should not extend beyond the boundaries of Europe. 

4. Reverse the Erroneous Multicultural Policies.
Inspired by its concern to defend and protect the cultural identity of the Flemish people, the Vlaams Belang rejects the tenets of the multicultural ideology. 
It must be made clear to aliens and immigrants in Flanders that they are expected to comply with our laws, and also to adapt to our values and morality, to our habits and to important traditional principles of European civilization, such as the separation of church and state, democracy, freedom of speech and the equal status of men and women. 

For those aliens and immigrants who reject, ignore or contest the above, a policy of repatriation will be implemented, through appropriate legislation regulating political asylum, nationality, security and expulsion. Illegal and criminal aliens must be repatriated. Voting rights are reserved for citizens.

 

Values and morality

1. Freedom.

Human beings are free persons. The Vlaams Belang is dedicated to protecting the individual from abuse of power by the state. The party defends the freedom of speech, as the first and most important principle in the democratic organisation of society. Other principles include - among others - the right of free assemblage and association, freedom of education, freedom of conscience and the right to life. The right of ownership and free enterprise - which constitute the foundation for economic development, employment and prosperity - are inherent freedoms of our society.

In its political activities the Vlaams Belang will respect the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November 1950 and the related protocols ratified by Belgium. The party and its various components and elected delegates will also observe the right to self-determination of nations.

2. Law and Order.

The authorities must respect the rights of every citizen and guarantee law and order. The Vlaams Belang believes that democracy and the rule of law are the best safeguards for personal freedom.

Security, and the curtailment of crime, are essential to society. The authorities of a state must guarantee security for all its citizens. The criminal’s personal responsibility must be recognized and appreciated as a cause of insecurity. For the Vlaams Belang a tough line on crime and zero tolerance are central to government, and the judiciary and the prison system must cooperate in this.

3. Subsidiarity and a Policy for the Common Good.

Society should be organized according to the principle of subsidiarity. What can be done efficiently at a lower level of society must not be relegated to a distant, anonymous and unaccountable authority.

Government and the authorities should act with utmost restraint and reticence at all times. Bearing this in mind, the Vlaams Belang is in favour of the lowest possible level of taxation and against the dissipation of public money. The party also rejects politically inspired educational reforms.

Politics (and also this party) is never a goal in itself, but a means to advance the public interest. The Vlaams Belang favours a sound vision on the duties of government. These include a greater focus on the essentials (such as the maintenance of law and order), the active reduction of redundant structures and excessive legislation, the fight against corruption and bureaucracy, and respect for the separation of powers.

4. Solidarity.

A humane society is not made up of isolated individuals. Free persons are rooted in the framework of their people and their culture. Solidarity is the interaction between the individual and the smaller and larger communities of which he is a part.

A strong foundation for solidarity is provided by the community of citizens united by their cultural identity or shared history and civilization. The care provided by families and their social entourage for the weak in general, and the handicapped and the sick in particular, is thus supported and complemented.

In a healthy society the excesses of the “rat race society” must be curbed. In this, the government plays a carefully considered role, bearing in mind the subsidiarity principle.

All generations participate fully in society.

5. The Family.

The traditional family is at the heart of a humane society. Its merit is acknowledged and safeguarded in the marriage between a man and a woman. Policymakers should recognize the central role of families with children in society. Their task is to protect the family instead of attempting to usurp its functions. This is the only approach which can provide solutions for the urgent problem of the birth dearth.

Posted by Johan Van Vlaams on Monday, November 15, 2004 at 10:59 AM in European Nationalism
Comments (12) | Tell a friend

Comments:

1

Posted by Rebecca Whetstine on November 15, 2004, 03:46 PM | #

I am struck by the similarities in concerns in our countries, even though our social structures are clearly not the same. Some I resonate with, some trouble me

For example, we have special job-support programming for specified immigrant groups while our own nationals literally wind up on the streets in winter. Our President is now talking about an amnesty for millions of illegals, as well as allowing
Social Security dollars in the form of disability payments or retirement pensions to flow south across the border to Mexico. I’m a famously liberal wench. But I’m a thinking liberal. We are gutting our country. A tattered hide will remain. My impression is that you have similar concerns

I found something similar to those concerns when comparing outcomes for Australian Aboriginals and Native Americans. How could two countries with such different social support systems (ours is negligible, theirs all-encompassing) have the same outcomes within fractions of a per cent?  And so now I’m puzzling now at the concerns in Belgium viz-a-vis Muslim welfare.

As an American, I’ve absolutely refused to be manipulated into Islam-hating by my fundamentalist government. They have tried their best and, given the recent vote figures, it looks like their best was good enough.  We really are as stupid as everyone says. Now I have to accept that half of a nation, albeit finely-balanced, are mindless nationalists who really do not care if they were lied to so as to get us into a war that has destroyed our national savings and our reputation.  Three per cent is
simply not a mandate, as this is still within the percentage of standard deviation we allow for ERROR. Indeed, more actual
votes were cast for Kerry, but again the electoral votes
were the decision makers, not the per capita common man’s ballot.

For weeks we had trouble with our new (zero paper trail) voting
machines, and Johns Hopkins University showed conclusive results of lab tests that the machines were manipulable.  Crackable WITHOUT TRACE.

So now we in America deserve whatever we get.

However, after visiting Europe again I also understand that we are caught in a battle of Titans.  Both are fundamentalist and both are disconnected from the original messages of acceptance and parley given by their “founders”.  Christian fundies and Islamic fundies have plunged us into an unavoidable global battle.  We must now assess what our SOCIAL values are and choose accordingly, ready to fight whoever wins for a real life for all.

It’s not pretty.

My second point: I heard some gently negative and myth-based comments directed towards Jews. It troubled me, given the many
monuments to anti-Semitism/fascism we do have in the landscape. I thought of those brave postal guys who were imprisoned in your own camp for refusing to spy on the people. I thought of the many Resistance Fighters of this tiny nation of yours, fighting on after the surrender of the King.

Here in America, we have to fight the battle of ephemerae, of ideas and beliefs.  The bones of the dead and the stones to speak of them are not here.  We have battle grounds where genocide took place, but somehow the voices of the wronged are wound into the whispers of nature and the grasses.  But in Belgium it was hard to hear comments of that variety of “ism” which is bias.

On their tale comes much speaking of the atrocities of Israel – a false connections falsely supporting bias. I see the atrocities of Israel clearly enough.  But I can separate “Jew” from “Israeli”.  But all was elided into one with those comments about diamond districts and such.  When I read that your party was banned, and also saw anti-Semitic references attributed, I was concerned.  Banning is a huge step!  What is behind that?  I want to understand more.

I feel that an unhealthy tenor of nationalism is on the rise.  We are ALL in danger of it.  Our basic survival is endangered on a global scale.

My mind was resistant to Bush’s paranoia and his miserably researched and elucidated arguments for the Blackamoor
Threat.  But my conversations with many different nationals and my simple observations have brought me to a new appreciation that fundamentalist Islam (as opposed to the original Islam of Mohammad) IS an astoundingly global threat.  But … we fed it in the cradle.  We permitted the establishment of Wahabism among the Saudis even while the Saudis were in vest pockets.

Now Belgium seems to be a major throughway for this threat, because of the welcome us newcomers are given there.  I
understand the popular rage that something must change. But I fear that the reaction will create unintended consequences for the innocent.

Our greatest significant challenge may be to strike a balance between the Ideal and the Real.  I am anxious to return to
Belgium, perhaps this time permanently. I want to put my shoulder to the wheel and delve into these issues that are shared the world over. I feel that you still have some rights of free speech in your country that we have lost since the WTC-2 bombing. Freedom of Speech and Civil Rights are significantly eroded.  Unconstitutional acts have taken place wholesale since that fateful day. Our very elections make a lie of the old dictum “One Man, One Vote” that we learned in school.

I offer these thoughts with respect and a genuine desire for dialogue.  This is a wildcard.  Whatever our political positions now is a moment to exchange ideas in hope and with open heart, along with the warrior’s steady composure.


Rebecca Whetstine

2

Posted by Guessedworker on November 15, 2004, 05:07 PM | #

Rebecca,

It should be easy for a Jew to understand the European mind.  Wherever European man calls his homeland he is being replaced by third world populations.  The reasons for this are complex and you and I both understand that.  But simplicity enters the equation in deciding what he can do at this juncture.  He can continue to sleepwalk to his fate or he can resist. 

The choice depends on whether or not he is personally aware of his circumstances.  If so, he WILL seek to resist.  I’d say that, today, not one in ten is aware in Britain.  But continental Europe is well in advance of that because of the more singular and, therefore, more identifiable threat.

Now, Israelis also face a Muslim demographic timebomb and a process, although infinitely more violent, no more implacable than that faced by Europeans.  Both the Israeli and European peoples are embattled populations (and OK, Europeans are not yet under an Islamic seige but they are beseiged by an entrenched and traitorous liberal establishment that desires racial equality above all things).

Well, I want Israel to survive.  But, obviously, I want Europe to survive, too - and not as some race-neutral Airstrip One place where the whole world can turn up one morning and demand free housing.

It should be clear from this little sketch that the threat to what you call our base survival comes not from nationalism - that is a very Jewish assumption but it is wrong - but from cosmopolitanism in some countries and Islamification in others.  Europeans have not been markedly nationalistic for decades.  Now they need to be and Jews must understand that.

Lawrence Auster had a related and very interesting but, for gentiles, deeply frustrating piece on David Horowitz’s Frontpage a few weeks ago: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13894
Is he right?  I don’t know.  But the mutual oppositionism to which both Auster and you (in Belgium) attest looks to me to be something of a waste of resources, given the circumstances.

3

Posted by Geoff M. Beck on November 15, 2004, 05:44 PM | #

Miss Whetstine:

Your condescension and sneering remarks about Christians illustrates why millions slapped John Kerry in the face, on Nov 2nd.

When you insult Christians you insult millions of your fellow citizens, my ancestors, the historic faith of Western Civilization, and, lastly, myself.

Your clumping together Christians and Islamics is ridiculous. I oppose the war, along with countless millions of other Christians, including the Papacy.

If you want to live in an atheistic state, the closest is Canada. On the way out don’t burn any churches.

Good Riddance.

4

Posted by Fred Scrooby on November 15, 2004, 08:49 PM | #

I don’t fully understand Rebecca Whetstine’s letter.  I spent years in Belgium (leaving there in the early 80s) amongst Flemings, Walloons and Germans alike( * ) without hearing an anti-Semitic remark.  Now we’re told Miss Whetstine went over there and the first three Flemings she met not only began spouting anti-Semitism, but spouted it at a complete stranger—her.  Forgive me if I suspect some sort of misunderstanding took place somewhere.  (By the way, can Miss Whetstine tell the difference between Flemings and Flemish-speaking Moslems?  I mean that question seriously.  Antwerp is full of the latter.) 

When true anti-Semitism rears its ugly head European Christians are repulsed by it. 

Nationalism in European countries is not anti-Semitism.  Insisting it is at every turn is decidedly NOT the way for Jews to “win friends and influence people” among Christian folk who happen to be patriotic.  On the contrary, it is one of the most maddeningly annoying and unsatisfactory mistakes made by Jewish thinkers, commentators, government officials and public individuals.
________  

( *  In easternmost Belgium is a small German-speaking region called, in French, les Cantons de l’Est—the Eastern Cantons, populated by ethnic Germans, wherefore German is one of Belgium’s three official languages along with French and Flemish.  Many Belgians consider the city of Brussels a fourth separate region dialectally and culturally distinct from the other three, but this may just be a ruse on the part of Walloons, aimed at keeping Flanders from taking Brussels back—where it properly belongs.)

5

Posted by Rebecca Whetstine on November 15, 2004, 10:26 PM | #

Dear Folks:

It was odd to receive notice of vitriolic reaction. I am grateful for the one of reasoned intonation inviting conversation as opposed to slamming.

I had hoped for RESPONSE to and education for me as opposed to violent reaction and being baited for not knowing esoterica of the culture! Tell me about it with your own love and pride of your culture—you’ll find a happy communicant who likes the detail.

I am not Jewish, nor am I whatever Satanic something or other one of the posters imagines.  And I’m not an egregious groundling, though not especially erudite.  Lordee! 

Now, I’m vitally interested in all that you can tell me about the history of the current incarnation of healthy national pride as well as the more-reactive aspects that are coming about, of neccesity it seems, in reaction to what we do now know of extremist fundamentalism in the form of Islam. Dutch friends are telling me of the same issues in NL, and we have our own version of it here.

I have felt most comfortable relating to my Flemish beau because he “feels” indigenous to me. The Tribes here in America have a similar feel in converse. The shape of our sensibilities bear resemblance, it seems to me, and I want to explore better and more. We understand each other, and I want to know more about the history here so I can go to the nuance of understanding.

What I am not seeking is a pissing match.

Tell me, has it always been this strong or is it getting stronger as the polarization on the current world stage progresses? And my question re. anti-semitism was specifically sparked by your own party materials! And news reports I saw directly after the banning of your party! I want to know what is behind all of that, as there CAN be misunderstandings indeed. What in the world was behind all that? I was surprised and bothered, as my beau is not an closed-minded ranter…

We are no less troubled here in America. And we have seen a rise in spiteful, brainless nationalism that has nothing to do with educated national pride. People fly flags on cars until they are tattered and soiled—an affront to that flag they claim to love and understand!  People reactively called YOU Nazis just because you would not go to war with Bush. I sure disagreed with that. I could really go on in this vein.

It’s not been fun to watch, and not fun to be associated with.

In hope of learning more from you, and really wanting to understand the current movement of Vlams—you are not alone at all in the world, but you are unique in your organization.

6

Posted by Fred Scrooby on November 16, 2004, 01:04 AM | #

Miss Whetstine, I for one still find your prose hard to comprehend, so I’m not sure this second response to you is completely à propos. 

Nevertheless: 

Anyone wishing to learn more about the grievances, views, and aims of the brand-new Vlaams Belang Party which replaces the now-banned Vlaams Blok has only to read its party platform which appears in the log entry under the heading “Vlaams Belang Manifesto.”  Where the party stands on every issue it deems fundamentally important is spelled out there in transparent language.  Perhaps, Miss, after going over that statement more carefully you’ll be able to phrase your remaining questions more concretely, making them easier to reply to.

What we are seeing in the Vlaams Belang Party Platform is a watershed declaration somewhat akin to the American Declaration of Independence.  It is a document whose ripple-effect will, in due course, knock away the rotten timbers artificially propping up what’s been oppressing us these thirty-five years.  History will show this magnificent Vlaams Belang party platform to be a turning point.

7

Posted by Rebecca Whetstine on November 16, 2004, 01:15 AM | #

Hey Fred, I appreciate your tone. I enjoy the interchange of policy and rhetoric on-the-hoof. It’s easy to formulate a stance, but to practice it in dialogue (as distinct from diatribe) is another thing, n’est c’est pas?

I’ll try to make succinct, specific questions in the future. I have many questions and a lot I would like to discuss, but was not sure anyone would give a good ratbag, did not wish to be long-winded.

I will REREAD the platform. But I value most the commentary of people who are living it, as opposed to a finished product. I have worked as a lobbyist, am not stupid to the political process, and like to get into the guts of things as an ex-HIV researcher.

Again, thank you for your civility, in this vein we can get into rough terrain and perhaps behave still as humans.

Respectfully,

Ms. R ( a single mum, so not properly a Miss anymore, tho’ all too often Amiss, anymore… )

8

Posted by Braveheart on November 16, 2004, 04:49 AM | #

The true story of Roeland Raes

Nationalism in European countries is not necessarely anti-Semitic. I fully agree with Fred Scrooby. But I was intrigued by something mentioned in Wikipedia. There I read about Vlaams Blok (Belang now): “ In 2002 party ideologue and vice-president Roeland Raes gave an interview on Dutch TV where he cast doubt over the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.”

This seems very serious to me, because negationism is very bad. So I did a little bit of research and found that this is completely false in different views. But of course,  if somebody can proof the opposite, I invite him to do so.

First a remark. As a Vlaams Blok (Belang now) watcher, I remember having read on their web-site that Roeland Raes was a negationist (this seems a confession to me)  and that therefore they dropped him. So my first problem is: if Vlaams Belang openly disavowes him, why then continue to mention him on Wikipedia in that respect?

Secondly I found that the Thought Police charged him in March 2001. Thus the year mentioned by Wikipedia is certainly not correct, although this is not the only error (see below).  And three and a half years later there isn’t a conviction in court either. But does this mean that he is innocent? At any event, I digged a little bit deeper, so that you can judge by yourself.

Thus there was a programm on the Dutch television (in Holland) about negationism and of course to make it thrilling, someone of the Vlaams Blok was invited about which all Walloons and the Flemish left allege that they are facists. During this interview, Roeland Raes said that he had no doubts about the systematic persecution and deportation of the Jews by the Germans (!), but (and that’s the thought that became fatal for him), he said: “whether it was planned ahead that they should all die during the war is another question”(in Dutch: “Of het gepland is dat ze allemaal zouden sterven tijdens de oorlog, is een andere kwestie”) And it was for these specific words that he was charged.

My conclusion: Raes was an idiot to grant such an interview in which he made his deadly slide by provocation. And Vlaams Blok (Belang)? Altough there is in fact no serious ground for a conviction,  Vlaams Belang, being a political party, wanted to stop the discussion by pleading guild and dropping him. But Wikipedia perpetuated the event…

9

Posted by Fred Scrooby on November 16, 2004, 09:33 AM | #

Thanks to Braveheart for doing the research on that question of Holocaust denial by a former member of the Vlaams Blok.  I wonder, can the Wikipedia article be amended to include the clarification in Braveheart’s post?

10

Posted by Braveheart on November 16, 2004, 10:11 AM | #

You will notice important differences between the information found in the major Flemish newspaper de Standaard (my source - normally not friendly for Vlaams Blok,  but mostly objective in such things) and Wikipedia’s source. The latter being THE GUARDIAN. Why? Andrew Osborn got his information from “la Libre Belgique” and leftist journal “le Soir”. If you ask the devil for (probably biased) information…

The archives don’t mention any conviction in the article titles, which confirms my firm belief that he got off scot-free.


For those who might know some Dutch, here follows the Flemish version of the facts:

Centrum-Leman dient klacht in tegen Raes

Van onze redacteur
Luk Van Eylen 16/03/2001

BRUSSEL—Het Centrum-Leman dient klacht in bij het gerecht voor de uitspraken die gewezen Vlaams Blok-senator Roeland Raes, eind februari, deed op de Nederlandse televisie. Raes uitte daarbij twijfels over essentiële gegevens over de genocide op joden in nazi-Duitsland.
Het Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding, het Centrum-Leman, heeft het opvallend voorzichtig over ,,dubieuze en moreel verwerpelijke uitspraken’‘. Het dient een gewone klacht in. Die kan het parket, in tegenstelling tot een klacht met burgerlijke partijstelling, seponeren. ,,We wilden niet de indruk geven dat we het gerecht willen forceren’‘, zegt Johan Leman daarover.

,,Het gerecht kent de materie en weet hoe gevoelig die dingen liggen. We moeten daar genoeg vertrouwen in hebben. We willen ons niet in de plaats van het gerecht stellen.’‘

Of het tot een proces komt op basis van de negationisme-wet van 1995, hangt dus van het gerechtelijk onderzoek af.

Die wet maakt vervolging mogelijk van eenieder die ,,de genocide die tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog door het Duitse nationaal-socialistische regime is gepleegd, ontkent, schromelijk minimaliseert, poogt te rechtvaardigen of goedkeurt.’’ Het Vlaams Blok keurde die wet in 1995 mee goed.

Tijdens het gesprek in het Nederlandse programma Netwerk kreeg Raes vragen over zijn sympathieën voor het negationisme. Raes bleek niet te twijfelen aan de systematische vervolging en deportatie van de joden door de Duitse autoriteiten, wel aan een politiek van systematische uitroeiing. ,,Of het gepland is dat ze allemaal zouden sterven tijdens de oorlog, is een andere kwestie’‘, zei hij onder meer.

Raes (65) was sinds de stichting van het Vlaams Blok in 1979 ononderbroken ondervoorzitter van die partij. Sinds tien jaar was hij ook senator.

Als gevolg van de deining die zijn uitspraken veroorzaakten, nam Raes ontslag als senator en als bestuurder van partij-vzw’s. Hij blijft wel ,,in en voor de partij werken’‘.
©Copyright De Standaard

11

Posted by Rebecca Whetstine on November 16, 2004, 02:34 PM | #

I appreciate the distinctions between Nationalism and Anti-Semitism. One does not equal the other. They can be linked, but are not the same thing—as an indigenous, I’m particularly aware of the differences! I brought those up as separate questions, concerns.

I apologize if I did not clarify this well enough for readers.

I’m looking at the rise in Nationalism in my own country and realizing it is possibly substantively different from your own Nationalism in terms of where it comes from. Ours has spiked through hate for the Other, and has been flamed by a Presidency that has broken with the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. You are in a different position, and this is what I want to understand.

In my country, a national can be allowed to die or be disabled unneccesarily, from injuries not even of your own fault, if you do not have insurance, money to pay out of pocket, or are unwilling to cheat and lie to get medical you never will pay for. In your country, you have a substantial, humane safety net that has been irreverently abused.

We use so many of the same words (liberal, conservative), but the contexts are so different. We have arrived at the same concerns but from such different directions.

Thank you for the backgrounder information and discourse you are providing now. It helps. THAT was what I was after.

Now to go find Wikipedia.
More reading.

12

Posted by Braveheart on November 17, 2004, 05:06 AM | #

For those who are interested in the story behind…

When you read Wikipedia’s link

<1>

to the Guardian (after the words Roeland Raes/Anne Frank), I hope you will understand why all Vlaams-Belangists have horns, hooves and goats tails.

And for those who are not yet convinced, here follows the definition of a Vlaams-Blokkist (now Vlaams-Belang) such as recently given by the newspaper le Soir from Brussels. (in French with some translation): “Autistes, fascistes, égoïstes, nostalgiques (= melancholics), xénophobes, nationalistes, écervelés (= birdbrains) et pieds nickelés (= be bone-idle): les électeurs du Blok sont tout cela”.

But this unintentionally confirms that Vlaams Belang is a peaceful party and can certainly not be compared with for instance former Herri Batatsuna party in Bask country who murdered many people. Otherwise this would certainly have been mentioned by le Soir. By the way, in the aftermath of the trial, Vlaams Belang leaders continuously appealed to keep calm.

And history? It took the Thought Police/Belgian Establishment years to find the “right” judges to sentence Vlaams Blok/now Vlaams Belang, but surely not the “righteous” ones. By the way, the one who wrote the fatal ruling in the city of Ghent is a notorious leader of the very small but fanatic French-speaking minority (three percent in the whole province of East-Flanders). But how can a judge be impartial, if you know that his favorite daily is just this “Le Soir”? It’s also said that the partial judge from Ghent aspired a promotion. But about this I have no further information. It’s also difficult to prove. At any event, the possibility exists and the decision to promote is a political one. In combination with the following, you will understand that this is not neutral.


It’s about the plot inside the Court of Appeal in Ghent itself, because there are globally fifty judges and so it’s not evident why they selected just those three who convicted Vlaams Blok on April 21, 2004, the day on which the Belgian constitutional state died. Two of those three judges were French-speakers. About the third we have no information. But one is the “bully” (see higher). To understand this choice, you should first know that the Court of Appeal’s president in Ghent, Mr. Jean-Paul de Graef who organizes the proceedings, is a French-speaker too. To make a long history short, they are remnants of Napoleon’s occupation. More important than this marginal note is that de Graef is the one who had to discuss the severe shortage of staff at his court with Minister of “Justice” and Walloon socialist Laurette Onkelinx. By the way, in parallel, this lady was leading the efforts to even refine the Thought Police legislation, although since then I haven’t heard much about it. In public she is always smiling, but behind closed doors it is said that she can be a screaming fury. Actual Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. De Gucht, who participated in the government negotiations for his party, was fully overruled by this bitch. This is indeed a “lady” you can better give what she demands, especially when she holds in her hand the key of your future.

Since then, the shortage of personal at the court in Ghent has been put right…

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