The following is a raw transcript from the last minutes of a half hour video interview with Dutch politician Geert Wilders, as found on YouTube. Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer asks Wilders to elaborate on the concept of the nation state and Israel as example. The interview was taken after Mr. Wilders’ speech at a conference in Los Angeles on June 9th, 2013.
It is worth listening to the entire interview for a couple of reasons. Indeed, much has been said before by Mr. Wilders, but there are a few remarkable new statements. He talks about shared interests between the US and Europe, particularly fighting ‘islamization’. Wilders states again that islam not being a religion but a dangerous, totalitarian ideology similar to fascism and communism. In this context, he refers to Christianity, Judaïsm and Humanism being both religion and ideology and ‘what we are’ in terms of heritage and identity. He also claims that Muslims are an ‘enormous’ political force in the Netherlands and that the main difference with the US is that most people in Europe live comfortably off benefits at the expense of hard working people on minimum wage.
As usual, Mr. Wilders warns for Islam and their partners in crime ‘the left’ by flawed arguments and evidence. Much of it is babble about his travel experiences and personal encounters with friendly people, like recently Marine le Pen, security issues, his position on Islam versus Muslims, apologies for his positions. He blames liberals and leftists for the situation in Europe by means of cultural relativism — in his view liberals claim that christianity and islam are the same. He also blames them for immigration to import cheap labor. In his view the welfare state is nothing but an evil plan by the left to gain political power through migrant Muslims. There is also much talk about identity which is reduced to being Islamic of not-Islamic. He also claims that Christians, Buddhists and Jews cannot be terrorists because of their religion and that the only terrorists in the world are Muslims, who use the Koran as instruction guide for violence and terrorism.
The nation state
‘Let’s talk about the nation state. You spoke earlier today about Europe and you used some interesting phrase, em, talked about European Spring. You also spoke about a Zionism of Europe. In essence, referring to Israel as a nation state, that became a strong nation state essentially than the rest Europe was denationalizing. Talk to us some more about that.
‘Well, no, I … Israel is also here an example for us, I believe, zionism, Theodore Herzl, that I quoted in my speech, later also Ze‘ev Jabotinsky, one of my, my … heroes. The Jewish understood that they need a nation state in, in order to have an identity and to be safe. In Europe exactly the opposite happened. We made the mistake that we thought that the nation state was the the the cause of the war, the second world war. Which was totally ridiculous. As I said in my speech, em, it was not German nationalism that was responsible for the second world war. It was the terrible ideology of nazism. There were Germans, like general Von Stauffenberg, who fought Hitler, who died for Hitler, who wanted to show to the world there were also good Germans, who didn’t agree with that. Em, em, the same happened with communism. So, em, em, German, of [‘or’, Dutch] European people were fooled by their political elite that the nation state was something responsible for war and was seething dangerous and because of, if you want to prevent war in the future, let’s diminish the nation state. Which is a totally wrong concept, because people feel safe, see their identity, see everything that they are in their national flag, in their nation state. This is what they are. This is the mistake we made, like I told you before, we have a kind of identity crisis, now it is changing for the better, finally, but we don’t know who we are. People were taught that it doesn’t matter whether you are Belgian or Bulgarian, let’s sing Cumbaja all day long and it’s a big party and there are no differences. We pay for you, and em, your culture is the same and everything. It’s total nonsense. Well, the Jewish state is an example how it should be. Learned a lesson, from the past, from the atrocities from the second war, and said new, that our identity, our safety is the only thing that we preserve as in the nation state. The nation state is far more than the word nation state. The nation state is safety, is identity, it’s a rule of law, it’s, it’s it’s common civilization. This is the nation state.
Israel by proxy
‘But, in Israel as an example. The state of Israel was founded with a large Arab minority, and from the beginning, even from Herzl’s time, envisioned Arabs and Muslims living in the state being part of a common vision. So, it’s not exclusively Jewish…
GW: ‘It’s a Jewish state, my friend … [note that the interviewee is apparently Jewish]
‘It’s a Jewish state but …
GW: ‘I lived for myself a few years in Israel. It’s a Jewish state. I mean … there are still many debates dealing with Arab MK’s, in the Knesset who walk away because they don’t like what they are saying about being Jewish and not, you know. Em, em, laws that are being em, made there to, em, to enforce the fact that it is a Jewish thing. But it is a Jewish thing, what doesn’t mean that everybody who lives there is Jew, but it is a Jewish state. We are … I … this is what I want, want as a preamble, on, in our constitution, also, to define what we are. We are a Jewish state. It doesn’t say in the Israeli law or constitution that everybody who lives on Israeli soil there is a Jew. No. It says, it’s a Jewish state. It defines your identity. This is what we are, we should do in Europe as well. If you don’t know what you are, you don’t know what you are not.
‘And, In Europe today, you also spoke about the other political parties in other countries and were very carefully talking about what they are and what they are not. You talked about Marine le Pen, for example, you said, she’s not her father. Is it a concern for you that in the eyes of a nationalist party, that could be prejudiced, that could be joined for the wrong reasons, don’t share… Which careful distinctions do you make?
GW: ‘Certainly. That’s why… But there are two sides of that coin. In the past, all those party, never dared to touch one another, because they were afraid for exactly this, they were afraid, we have to be honest myself and my party: we said, should I meet le Pen, should I meet this party, that country? What if they are wrong? Then there will be press and then they will write about it and, em, em, it will cost us voters. We don’t need it, so let’s forget about it. Stay close in our own country. Whereas the same time we know that we are, we have more in common with them than all the other parties in my own parliament. So, it was ridiculous. We wore … a kind of hostage, by fear of a press, while, we just read in the press, as … I don’t know how it was here, but certainly in Europe and in Holland, the majority of the press is also leftish and liberal. So, who are they to to to make our own, our own make a decision, that we are, em, em, em, not dealing with as we should. So I decided at the moment, well, forget it. I want to know, I want to see it for myself. I take a risk. Okay, I go to Marine le Pen. Let the press write about. Maybe it will cost me some popularity. I don’t care, I want to see it for myself, and not trust the journalist that writes the day after nasty things about me. Why should I believe him? I have to see it myself. So, I’m going to do that. I went, I visit almost all parties in any other European country. Not all of them. I won’t go to see the British national party, because, if you look at their party program, they’re a racist party. There is a party in Hungary called Jobbik, who is a fascist party. Off course I will look, I will not see any party. But the party from Le Pen. I read so much about her. She had good interviews in the Dutch TV. So I thought to myself, let’s go and see her. Let’s talk for myself. I told to Marine, tell me about your party. And, and there was nothing. I mean, if it comes to Islam, I’m more moderate than she is. … That was her joke, by the way <smiles> But, em, em, there was no antisemitism, there was the love of Israel, there were rabbis supporting her party, I mean, she really, she was elected on a platform that said, I want it different than my father. There was another candidate that supported the line of her father. So, em, em, em, she’s very popular and I see nothing wrong with that. Em, em, em, em, so we can now forge, try to work together, whatever way, I mean, I’m just it the process of talking to many parties in Europe… If I wouldn’t have done it, if you would stay afraid, if you would let the press, who are demonizing both of us, rule my agenda, I wouldn’t have known it and an opportunity would be missed. She is a patriot, she is not anti-Semitic, unlike her father, and she is a strong politician being the second most popular politician, em, in, em, France today. So, I’m very happy to do that and maybe sometimes I go to a country the next weeks or months and I don’t like a party and I don’t deal with that. Or maybe they don’t like me, em, that can be possible as well. But we should take the political risk to see it for ourselves in stead of the press who dislikes us all.
<interruption by a third person>
GW: ‘Last question..
On Pim Fortuyn
Let’s talk about the legacy of Pim Fortuyn a little bit. (…)
GW: Well, Pim Fortuyn was, unfortunately as you know … em, killed, by an animal activist, in Holland, but had a party, I was then still member of the conservative party, conservative-liberal party I must say, not liberal in the American sense, but (…) conservative-liberal in Dutch, the European sense of the word,
I was member of parliament for that party. A party that I left, at the end of the day, but at that time I was already feeling very comfortable. And this new guy was coming up and really, the first one to address. He was an … open, homosexual gay, who was not ashamed and not afraid of everything. He stole the hearts of the people for his [ed. ‘it’s’?] honostness [meant here is off course honesty], em … talking about immigration, talking about political elite, and em, em, people loved it. Unfortunately he was killed, like I said, by a leftish animal activist and, em, his party went, even though he was killed, short after was the elections, they got many, many seats. 28 seats or something like that in parliament. Because their leader was dead. They had only fights and (…) and four years later they were almost… All gone. But the thoughts that he had, em, em, em, em, the pioneer he was, em, was something to be proud of. So, I’m no, em, Pim Fortuyn, I can honor him by doing what I am doing.
<hardly audible> I will do a good job.<smiles>
Mr. Wilders. Thank you…
The video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed-ODMzdSqo