OpinionAntisemitism

Geert Wilders and the liberal Jewish intelligentsia

Support for truthtellers about Islam and antisemitism is the litmus test for liberal Jews’ post-Oct. 7 awakening.

Geert Wilders at a reception in Amsterdam organized by the Dutch King on Jan. 15, 2019. Photo by Dutchmen Photography/Shutterstock.
Geert Wilders at a reception in Amsterdam organized by the Dutch King on Jan. 15, 2019. Photo by Dutchmen Photography/Shutterstock.
Andrew Bostom
Andrew Bostom
Dr. Andrew Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.

On Nov. 22, Geert Wilders and his Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV), “Party for Freedom,” burst out of the Netherlands’ political wilderness with a resounding electoral victory. Now endeavoring to cobble together a governing coalition, Wilders observed, “The PVV is a broad popular party. The largest in the Netherlands. 2.4 million people voted for us. Highly and poorly educated, native and immigrant, workers, retirees, young people and the elderly. From the city, the countryside. The PVV is for everyone.”

Just prior to the election, the Dutch Centrum Informatie En Documentatie Israel (CIDI) summarized PVV’s record on Israel and antisemitism, including these unique declarations:

  • The Dutch embassy in Israel must be moved to Jerusalem.
  • Jordan is the only true Palestinian state and PVV does not favor the creation of another one.
  • Support for Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria.
  • Opposition to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which is subordinated to Sharia law.
  • A commitment to fighting antisemitism, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and particularly as promulgated “from an Islamic point of view.”

The commitment to fight antisemitism couldn’t be more timely given the over eight-fold increase in antisemitic incidents in the Netherlands since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre. 

When CIDI’s annual report for 2019 was released, showing the highest number of antisemitic incidents since 1982, Wilders inveighed against the denial of the report’s findings, saying, “It is almost nauseating. We’ve been talking about antisemitism, here in the Lower House, for 10 minutes now. And nobody, really nobody has discussed the biggest cause of antisemitism, which is of course Islam and Islamization”  

“We have a million Muslims in the Netherlands right now,” he noted, and “Islam is synonymous with Jew-hatred.” Wilders demonstrated that “intrinsic” Islamic antisemitism is based on the Quran: “In the Quran, its says that Jews are monkeys and pigs (5:60). That they are bad (5:79). That they cannot be trusted (5:13). That they are liars (2:100). That they are dishonest (3:78).”

Wilders concluded by demanding that his colleagues acknowledge “there is a connection between mass immigration of people from Islamic countries and antisemitism. … If you do not, you are selling politically correct nonsense.”  

Wilders’s claim is proved by hard data on antisemitic attitudes and non-lethal antisemitic violence and threats in Western Europe.

The 2008 “Six Countries Study” (covering the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Sweden) with approximately 9,000 participants (3,373 native Christians; 3,344 Turkish Muslim immigrants; and 2,204 Moroccan Muslim immigrants) revealed that 45% of Muslim immigrants versus 9% of native Christians believed “Jews cannot be trusted.” While such hostility to Jews among “fundamentalist” Christians doubled to approximately 18%, over 70% of fundamentalist Muslims were hostile to Jews.

“Antisemitism in Brussels’ Schools,” a 426 page study, included data on the young Belgian Muslim community, primarily 12 to 18-year-olds, in 2011. A 354 page follow-up study of Antwerp-Ghent youth was published in 2013. 2,837 students in 32 Dutch-speaking Brussels high schools were surveyed. Muslim respondents agreed with the following four statements at 3.7-fold to seven-fold rates over non-Muslims:

1) “Jews want to dominate everything” (Muslims, 56.8%; non-Muslims, 10.5%). 2) “Most Jews think they’re better than others” (Muslims, 47.1%; non-Muslims, 12.9%). 3) “If you do business with Jews, you should be extra careful” (Muslims, 47.5%; non-Muslims, 12.9%). 4) “Jews incite to war and blame others” (Muslims, 53.7%; non-Muslims, 7.7%). Muslim antisemitism was unrelated to lack of education or social disadvantage.

The 2013 study of 863 students from Ghent and Antwerp, including 346 Muslim students, confirmed these results. 45-50% of Muslim students evidenced antisemitic attitudes, versus 10% of non-Muslims. A 2011 study by Muslim convert Gunther Jikeli yielded similar results. Jikeli conducted 117 interviews with Muslims from Berlin, Paris and London whose mean age was 19. Jikeli affirmed that “references to the Quran or the Hadith” were central to shaping the antisemitic views of young Muslim adults in Western Europe.

Anti-Defamation League surveys conducted in Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and France in 2015 and repeated in 2019 assessed the prevalence of “extreme antisemitism”—defined as agreement with at least six out of 11 antisemitic stereotypes—among Christians/non-Muslims and Muslims. Both surveys revealed that “extreme antisemitism” among Muslims was three times higher than among non-Muslims. ADL studies of Belgium and France published in May of this year were identical. Among French Muslims, it was 62% versus 15% among French Christians. In Belgium, it was 52% versus 21%. 

Finally, a study of non-lethal violence and violent threats targeting Jews conducted by the European Union for Fundamental Rights in 2012 queried Jewish victims about the identity of the perpetrators: “Thinking about the incident where somebody attacked or threatened you in a way that frightened you because you are Jewish–who did this to you?” Muslims were responsible for 2.2 times more incidents than non-Muslims.

In an Oct. 2013 interview, Al-Azhar University Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayeb—essentially the Sunni Muslim pope—concentrating on Quran 5:82, authoritatively reaffirmed the canonical Islamic animus that fuels this global orgy of Muslim Jew-hatred and violence.

When no religious or political leader of stature criticized al-Tayeb, I appealed to Geert Wilders. Wilders alone not only rebuked al-Tayeb’s statements, but extolled their polar opposite: Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium, which, Wilders noted, drew “the world’s attention to the indebtedness of Christianity to the Jews and their faith” and contained a “sharp condemnation of the terrible persecutions which the Jews have endured from Christians in the past.”

An alleged post-Oct. 7 epiphany has occurred among the liberal Jewish intelligentsia, embodied in journalist Bari Weiss and her much ballyhooed Oct. 11 Federalist Society speech. Weiss proclaimed, “Look at your enemies and your allies. … I know that in the fight for the West, I know who my allies are.”

I maintain that unequivocal support for Wilders and the PVV—who are bold, informed truthtellers on Islam and the Jews—is a litmus test of the “post-Oct. 7” sincerity of the liberal Jewish intelligentsia.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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