The Vlaams Belang Goes to Washington
From the desk of Paul Belien on Tue, 2007-02-13 10:46
The Vlaams Belang [Flemish Interest] is Belgium’s largest party. It strives for the independence of Flanders and its election victories might lead to the falling apart of Belgium and, since Belgium’s capital Brussels is the EU capital, threaten the stability of the European Union.
Frank Vanhecke, the party leader and a member of the European Parliament, and Filip Dewinter, the leader of the party in the Flemish regional parliament and the Antwerp municipal council (as well as “the worst Belgian ever”) will be visiting Washington DC from 20 to 24 February.
The Robert Taft Club has asked Mr Vanhecke and Mr Dewinter to speak on the subject “Immigration, Multiculturalism, and Free Speech in Europe.” The event takes place on Friday, Feb. 23, 7:00 to 10:00 pm at the
Chrystal City Marriott
1999 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, Virginia (Chrystal City Metro).
Admission is free. Information: [email protected]
Last December, Professor Michel Korinman of Paris’ Sorbonne University, asked me to address a conference organized by the Daedalos Institute of Geopolitics in Nicosia, Cyprus, on “Peoples in Migration in the 21st century,” and explain why the VB is the most successful of the so-called “Euronationalist” parties, opposing immigration and multiculturalism. Below is the text of my Nicosia speech.
Why is the Vlaams Belang so popular?
The Vlaams Belang is the largest single party in Belgium. It has not lost a single election in 25 years, growing slowly but continuously from 3% of the vote in 1987, to 10.3% in 1991, 12.3% in 1995, 15,8% in 1999, 18.2% in 2003 to 24.1% in 2004. It is the most successful of all the so-called “Euro-nationalist” parties.
Originally founded in 1977 as a radical Flemish-secessionist break-away of the Flemish-nationalist party, its main political goal is the establishment of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of the federal kingdom of Belgium, as a sovereign state, an independent republic. In the late 1980s the party managed to transform itself into a mainstream conservative party, aptly filling the gap that the free-market Liberals and the Christian-Democrats created when they moved to the left. The Vlaams Belang is also the only Euro-sceptic party in Belgium and the only one that rejects the official state ideology of multiculturalism. The Vlaams Belang says it is firmly established on three pillars: Flemish independence, the opposition to multiculturalism, and the defence of traditional Western values.
The party differs from the other Euro-nationalist parties in three ways.
First, it has a collective leadership and does not depend on strong charismatic and often impulsive leaders such as Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, Jorg Haider in Austria, or the late Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands. The media, who by their nature want to personalize politics, often depict Filip Dewinter as the leader of the Vlaams Belang, but Dewinter is not the party president. Dewinter is the chairman of the Antwerp chapter of the party and the president of its group in the Flemish regional council, but he is not the party’s national leader nor the chairman of its group in the federal Belgian House of Representatives. The Vlaams Belang is not a one-man-show.
Second, though generally depicted as an islamophobic anti-immigration party, the Vlaams Belang is not a one-issue party but rather a coalition of people who for various reasons oppose Belgium’s traditional parties and its policies.
Third, the party is seen by the Belgian establishment as a mortal enemy of the state, not only because it rejects the multiculturalist state ideology but primarily because it wants to dismantle the state itself. Imagine a Front National in France, with a young, collective leadership, with a broad electoral base enabling it to attract a broad range of conservative voters which other parties no longer cater for, and a party programme that states as its primary goal that it wants to abolish France.
The Vlaams Belang is a unique phenomenon unlikely to occur elsewhere, except perhaps if the European Union should ever develop into a fully fledged federal superstate. Then one could easily imagine a kind of pan-European Vlaams Belang which would oppose multiculturalism and islamisation while at the same time aiming for the abolishment of the European superstate and the reestablishment of the old, former nation-states.
The Vlaams Belang’s opposition to Belgium and the European Union are motivated by the same considerations. It considers multi-national Belgium, an artificial state constructed by the European powers in 1831, to be the prototype of the federal European state that Eurofederalists want to establish. The Vlaams Belang opposes Brussels and does not really differentiate between Brussels as the capital of Belgium and Brussels as the capital of Europe. It sees both Belgium and Europe – in other words Brussels and Brussels – as enemies of Flanders and of the Flemish people, whose national identity these enemies want to subvert and destroy.
According to the Vlaams Belang – and its success in conveying this message explains its continuous electoral successes – immigrants are being used by the Belgian establishment as a weapon against the Flemings. In other words immigration has been deliberately promoted with the goal of undermining national loyalties which people adhere to because it gives meaning to fundamental existential questions such as “Who are we? What is our identity?”
Belgium is a country consisting of different peoples: Dutch-speaking Flemings, French-speaking Walloons, and a small number of Germans. Islamic immigrants who settled in Belgium and have acquired (or rather been given) Belgian nationality, tend to be the only group of Belgians whose loyalty is to Belgium, rather than to Flanders or Wallonia. Similarly it is imaginable, and even probable, that if Europe ever becomes an artificial superstate, non-European immigrants would be the only group to identify with this European state and new nationality rather than with that of the old former national entities.
The Belgian authorities have always seen Flemish nationalism as endangering the existence of the multinational Belgian state. They have also explicitly stated that immigrants are to be used by the ruling establishment as a weapon against the Vlaams Belang.
Until 2004 the Vlaams Belang was called the Vlaams Blok. Its party slogan was “Our own people first.” After the party had become the largest party in the local elections in Antwerp in 2000, the Belgian establishment decided to extend the right to vote in local elections to non-Belgian residents. It also decided to make it easier for non-Belgians to acquire Belgian nationality, with the intention of creating so-called “new Belgians” entitled to vote in the general elections. In September 2000, Leona Detiège, the then Socialist mayor of Antwerp, told the press (Knack Magazine, 13 Sept. 2000): “The Vlaams Blok is currently overrepresented because the immigrants are not allowed to vote.” while Johan Leman, the then director of the Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR), a government agency working for the Belgian Prime Minister, announced (De Standaard, 15 Jan. 2000): “What will ‘our own people’ still mean fifteen years from now? We will get so many new Belgians that this slogan becomes meaningless. The Vlaams Blok is a thing of the past.”
In last October’s local elections in Belgium the immigrant vote tipped the balance in favour of the ruling establishment. In Brussels more than one fifth (21.8%) of the municipal councillors are now immigrants of non-European origin. Most of them are Muslims, and most of them have been elected as Socialists. The non-European immigrants vote overwhelmingly Socialist, owing to the fact that many of them migrated to Western Europe attracted by the subsidies of its generous welfare states. The immigrants have become the electoral life insurance of European Socialism.
In the Brussels borough of Sint-Joost-ten-Node (where the party headquarters of the Vlaams Belang is located) 11 of the 16 Socialist municipal councillors are non-European immigrants, as are 4 of the 5 Christian-Democrats, 2 of the 3 Greens and 2 of the 3 Liberals. In Antwerp almost one third of the Socialist councillors (7 of 22) are Muslims, as are one third of the Christian-Democrat councillors (2 of 6). In Ghent, one quarter of the Socialist councillors are Muslims. In Vilvoorde, a Flemish town 20 kms north of Brussels, half the Socialist representatives are Muslims. Many of these Muslims have radical islamist sympathies. It bothers many traditional indigenous Socialists that their party has sold out to radical Islamism. After the elections one of them told the Brussels newspaper Le Soir (11 October 2006): “Whenever one of the Belgo-Belgians [the indigenous Belgians] complained he was told off for being a racist.” No wonder that even many French-speaking indigenous former Socialists have begun to vote for the Vlaams Belang.
The Belgian establishment’s harassment of the party has only brought it more sympathy from the public. On 9 November 2004, the Supreme Court in Brussels declared the Vlaams Blok, then already the country’s largest party, a criminal organisation. In the 1990s in an effort to kill the party the Belgian Parliament changed the Constitution and voted a series of new laws, including an Anti-Racism Act and an Anti-Discrimination Act, which define “discrimination” so broadly that anyone and everyone is vulnerable to hate-crime prosecutions. These new laws were used against the Vlaams Blok.
The party was convicted on the basis of an anthology of as few as 16 texts published by various local Vlaams Blok chapters between 1996 and 2000. Though many of these texts simply quoted official statistics on crime rates and social welfare expenditure the court posited that they had been published with “an intention to contribute to a campaign of hatred.” One of the texts, which dealt with the position of women in fundamentalist muslim societies, was written by Belkiz Sögütlü, a female Turkish-born Vlaams Blok member who had herself been raised in such an environment.
Following the verdict the Vlaams Blok was forced to disband. Its leaders, however, promptly founded another party, the Vlaams Belang (which means “Flemish Interest”). It went on to win the next elections. At this moment the Vlaams Belang is again in court. The Council of State, a Belgian administrative court, will rule early next year whether or not to defund the party. This is an attempt to kill it by depriving it of its finances. Ten years ago the Belgian authorities decided to make it illegal for political parties to accept private donations. Instead they have since been subsidised by the state in accordance with the number of votes gained in the last elections. Parties that are considered to be “enemies of the state” can, however, be defunded on the grounds that it is illogical for the state to fund its own enemies.
There is little doubt that the party will, indeed, be defunded. The party leadership says that they have set aside funds in a so-called “war chest” to allow it to participate in the general elections next June. There is little doubt that the Vlaams Belang will also win these elections. If the Belgian authorities take their money away from them this will cause an outrage and even more indigenous voters will flock to them.
The party does realize, however, that its ability to keep winning elections depends on demographics. Its electoral potential will decline when the number of indigenous voters goes down. The Vlaams Belang was the only party in last October’s local elections that did not put forward Muslim candidates.
In Antwerp, Flanders’ largest city, it won 33.5% of the vote, compared to 33.0% in 2000. This may look like a small gain, but it is significant since the demographic makeup of Belgium’s cities is rapidly and dramatically changing. The municipality of Antwerp has half a million inhabitants. Every year on average 4,000 indigenous Flemings move out of Antwerp, while 5,000 immigrants settle there. Most immigrants are Muslims. These people do not vote for a party that has no Muslims on its list, that opposes multiculturalism and demands that immigrants assimilate and respect the values of their host country.
According to the marxist sociologist Jan Hertogen “The immigrants saved democracy in Belgium” (Gazet van Antwerpen, 9 Oct. 2006). Hertogen calculated that if the franchise had not been extended to immigrants the Vlaams Belang would have polled 40.4% in Antwerp instead of 33.5%.
Filip Dewinter, the party’s leader in Antwerp, told the press before the elections that his party cannot continue to win. “I am a realist,” he said. “The number of potential voters for our party is declining year by year. […] In ten years’ time the number of new Belgians in Antwerp – half of whom are Moroccans – has doubled. [...] If the number of foreigners in Antwerp continues to grow by 1.5% a year, as it currently does, then in twenty years from now there will be more people of foreign than of indigenous extraction in this city. […] Our party has foreign members, but I do not want to be a hypocrite. At present we do no put forward ‘alibi Ali’ candidates. But I know that it is bound to happen some day. We extend our hands to welcome every foreign-born person who wants to become a Fleming among the Flemings.”
It is doubtful, however, that many rentseeking immigrants, attracted by welfare benefits, would want to join a conservative party that is generally perceived as being opposed to the European welfare system.
This is why I think that the shift to the right in Belgium, but also in West-European politics in general, will be over by the end of the decade, when the impact of the immigrant vote will shift politics dramatically to the left. The Belgian and European social-democrat establishments are slowly but gradually succeeding in what Bertold Brecht advised totalitarian regimes to do: “dissolve the people and elect another.”
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Sat, 2007-02-17 12:04.
This discussion gives a good view of what will happen if the "current enemy" the "Muslims" will ever be defeated. There will just be a new one. Certainly, It will just be a new enemy in a new era, like Marcfrans stated, with no connections what so ever with what we have done to Muslims or Jews in ancient times…
Submitted by perfektm on Sat, 2007-02-17 15:23.
you again are misjudging....
Muslims are not enemies... enemy is the indoctration of childern...
enemy is the lies left behind in our society. enemy is that we accept those lies to paint the picture around us....
if there exist bad muslims, there are good muslims like wafa sultan, harshi ali and so on...
there are very few who are speaking openly against this.... we need to come out to support them... to empower them.... and to do what ever we can do to..... beside this we also need to bridge east and west else we are gone..... we not only need to counter the media which is spreading lies, like we have seen against israel, but we also need to counter the propoganda money feeded by saudis and crocodile cries of jihadis around the world. and last is we also need to counter the lies and libels existing in our society.
currently the problem is only limited to islam, but in a globalize world... east and west is so divided by middle east that they blame each other...... there is no general awareness about eastern culture in west... and the same i will say about judeochristian culture in east... and the funny thing is for us islam is from east, and for you islam is from west.
if we need to remove the problem, then we need to speak openly about the problem.... instead of throwing it in ambiguitity...... we have to bring wahabi salafi's as well as tablighi jammat in light...... and we also need to bring the truth in light.... we need to support open discussion between east and west..... so we know why there is missing faith between two continents.
in case of india, i promise you that you will see a change in next comming months... as i am planning to broke those lies that are existing in india. the only thing i request you is the same..... to remove those lies existing in our society.... it was we, who had betrayted with the good peoples, who had fought Nazis in world war 2. it was we who had given power of india to those who were anti jewish and anti christian.... i just wish that we dont fall in world war 3... and the only solution for this is to spread awareness in General public, that the wars which are shown on name of oil and diamonds, or oppression is something else.....
nearly all of those coutries including US and europe had already declared to make themself independent from oil and they are also investing in that technology..... so does that viewport really make sense?
when they say crusaders... then does they really speak that what they were doing to others in indian subcontinent....
anyways if you think hinduism is a pagan religion... then go through this...
if any question comes to your mind, then do ask..or just visit this place....
Submitted by marcfrans on Thu, 2007-02-15 16:41.
I think that your response to Perfektm is very much besides the mark. He is commenting on CURRENT issues in Europe, and you are pointing to PAST issues in the Indian subcontinent.
If political correctness and immigration are problems of today in Europe, then it is not relevant to counter with Indian problems of the distant past. What hindus might have done to budhists centuries ago is about as irrelevant as what Germans did to jews sixty-five years ago, or the Spanish inquisition did centuries ago as well, etc....
We live today and we have to preserve democracy and individual freedom today. And, yes, India is today a multicultural democracy - but with a sufficient common culture and democratic political system for Indians to identify with - and where freedom of opinion is defended and where power regularly alternates between different ideologies.
P.S. Thank God that the clash with 'British civilisation' helped rid the Indians of 'sutee', or the practice of widow-burning. But, it is terribly misguided to hold anyone in the world responsible for behavior of ancestors. Especially if one is doing it on a selective basis, which is very much 'pc' these days.
@Yitzhak and @Marcfrans ..... Just Hold it here.....
Submitted by perfektm on Thu, 2007-02-15 21:50.
I want to say thanks to you Yitzhak... for starting a discussion about hinduism history here.... but unfortunately i also want to say that you have lost your power to analyze before blaming hinduism for everything...... so from where should i start? .. well if i have to start from our current world problems... before digging inside historical facts....
so Yitzhak sais " .An Australian Christian Missionary was burned alive along with his two sons by a Hindu mob… Yeah very good examples… ".....
well my exteme appolization to that insane work... and i also know about a few of such incidents, and i also apologize for those action. BUT will my apologization will hold the things. and iis hinduism the only one to be credited for this. anyways so have you ever tried to dig the root of these problems? ... why christians in india also had to suffer, if any clashback against Muslims broke out. we have also seen these things in Gujrat roits infact. and i dont want to give a clean chit to anyone participating in killing in innocent.... but i do ask you to analyze everything as a broadminded person.
i also know that there were racist attack on Hindus in west, so again should i put the balme on whole west for this. there is a constant rise on those attacks fromt the time western media had started making coverage by taging Islamofacist as south asians? where is a appropriate coverage for attack on south asians or was it a life of Australian that cost more then that of indian. should i blame whole euorpe for those attack, though i know majority of Europeans are loving, caring and one of the best peoples i ever have experienced. the problem is we all are victim... victim of the same mentality... where lies exist in our society and we go in accordance to those lies....
well remember, the part to words i wrote was not a clearanse to that insane work what radical hindus have done.... but to force you to analyze what is going wrong in our world... because to improve the relation, you need to build a understanding....which is missing
so the question again comes in light... why? why are they working so much insane.... remember i will attack you, when i will feel that you are attacking me or you are planning to kill me.
this is true in case of india as well, as in case of west. Attack on hindu/south asian non-Muslim increased will exponantial rate from a time Media started using word "South Asian".
In case of christians in india, there exist a libel... a libel which is continuing from 18th century... that christians came to annihilate the culture of india. politicians demonize west on every extent they can.... and we also study this whole from our childhood. hinduism is not radical, but it is the power that is holding indians away from radicalism... further what u see is a feeling that christians support killing of hindus.
Making situation more serious...
1) Role of West.... West usually ignored all terrorism in india. infact many times it had stopped india from defending herself. i dont know, was it west or was it indian politicians failure to take any action.... but basic indian feels that west support attacks on indians.
2) one of the Australian christian missanary was also involved in a incident ....where he had dropped weapons in indian state of orrisa for millitants... further evidance was found that he was also funding millions of dollar in christian terrorism in east india.
3) afterall it was not enough... the money you transfered after kashmir earth quake was also use by terrorist against indian hindus. so what type of welfare are you westerners are doing?
The question is not only to send money or not... the question is of responsability, should you be hold guilty too for your part in contributing money for terrorism...
if you really want to control those attack.. then at 1st ask Australian bishops to keep a track on money transfer in india... and also ask the same from west groverment.... because if the money you send is to kill innocents.. then there will definately be a clash back...
Many indian think that Christians support not only radical chrisitans but also radical muslims in india to kill hindus. the roots of these lies are laid far back in history.... even before 1857.... with a propoganda from islamic kings. well you think so what is happening in modern world, infact india is free from almost 60 yrs... and right now virtually under the rule of a christain women named Sonia Gandhi... what ever she is grown up in Italy... and still instead of working against those libels.. her party just had convrted the libels into truth... as now indian history books place the blame on 1857 on Christians... they demonize them.instead of just condemning hindus, condemn the real factor...
in case of buddhist.. just wait for me other post
On the Survival of Western European Socio-Political Elites
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Wed, 2007-02-14 10:53.
I refrain from referring to these elites as socialists per se, as this term simplifies what are fragmented political stances and ignores that these elites are short-sighted and self-interested political actors in coalitions that are more complicit than conspirational; indeed, these actors and coalitions are also invariably in a constant state of flux.
Our main concern is to tackle the problems that they either contribute to or remain silent on:
*Associated trends are the official and unofficial attacks against Christianity and nationalism, while the challenges posed by Islam and internationalism are downgraded
These elites rely upon the taxation of majorily small business owners and the salaried middle class; that European businesses continue to thrive is not a testament to EU policies but to the ingenuity and work ethic of Europeans themselves. However, this support, of politicians, academics and pundits cannot continue forever, as eventually the middle class will recognise that it is in social and financial peril. Where discontentment becomes revolutionary is when middle class youth cannot translate their education into the hard currency of social status and wealth, when unemployment rises past the teens and achieving the standard of living that one was accustomed to as a child seems a Herculean task. Unfortunately, the middle class suffers in silence, which only increases the political mass of upheaval to be unleashed at a future date.
political correctness or ???
Submitted by perfektm on Wed, 2007-02-14 12:02.
i agree with you, but not fully...
Multiculturalism: as opposed to assimilation and national unity*
old india shows a very good example of how Multiculturalism can survive, it was before entry of Islam in india.... there were peoples from every religion, and every sect including Hindus, Jews, christians .... every one. Perhaps you need to distinguish between the cultures too.. it might be that one culture you are ignoring as Pagan is moving hands further with love... and on other side, the culture you are thinking is religion of peace might be here to assimilate you....
For sure, we can't fight for always...... we have to save our cultural identiy .... but if fighting and dividing is a solution for this.. then remember not only this earth, but this whole universe will run short of space.....
Immigration: allowing far more immigrants in than the economy, welfare state or nation can absorb
here i agree with you, Europe should 1st help themself... then must think of welfare and helping others....
Political Correctness: unofficial and official silencing of views that contradict prevailing ones
I will not say its political correctness, i will say its political curroptness.... Europe is biggest donor to palestein... and palestein enjoy largest per-capita help in world... it had increased by 12% in last year... though Image is broadcasted that due to hamas they are running out of money. so the point here is, you cant take a decision with wisdom without considering all factrs.... do you really think this help on name of political correctness really help them? it further funds terror... ask indians tooo, the money european had sent in kashmir quake relief was also used in organising terror attack.
so if its really political correctness... then where is wisdom in it. you cant do a welfare by killing innocents.
this thing is must for sleeping europeans to understand... that ADVERTISEMENTS ARE NOT ALWAYS TRUE... Religion Of Peace no more welcome europeans with "belly dance" ... and even if they did, does european ever will discuss with those womens... how they were draged inside this buissness...... the tears behind were never seen, as europe in some other way
Submitted by Yitzhak on Thu, 2007-02-15 11:43.
Multiculturalism and India…..give me a brake. Of course old Indian show us very good example of intolerance If I am not mistaking what Hindus done to Buddhists in India was before the arrival of Islamo- fascist, the cast system in India, burning women alive when husband is dead ..An Australian Christian Missionary was burned alive along with his two sons by a Hindu mob… Yeah very good examples…
Before you point finger at us in Europe… look at the record of your own country….
When will people break free?
Submitted by Lancelot Owen on Tue, 2007-02-13 16:20.
In the longer term I believe the wishes of the majority will prevail. By constantly undermining the democratic process and subverting the values of their own civilisation the Leftists merely hasten their own end.
No amount of CCTV surveillance, gun control, multicultural ideology, or gerrymandering of elections will be able to prevent the uprising of popular anger that will tear the EU and its constituent nations apart. This peculiar 1960s topsy-turvy idea that the few can rule for the few and disregard the many must come to an end.
Survival and security
Submitted by Flanders Fields on Tue, 2007-02-13 15:36.
The Vlaams Belang are not only persecuted by the other parties, who attempt to portray them, if at all, in most negative terms. The other parties are assisted by a press that is eager to hide the problems which are present and which give deserved credibility to the Vlaams Belang. Most of the immigrants are in enclaves within the bigger cities and many in Belgium or Flanders are unaware of the extent of the problems which are precipitated by the immigrant populations. It is more repressive on such news than the French are in their (lack of) reporting.
It is now a power struggle between the people and the totalitarian government in Brussels. The people are not aware that they are in a struggle for their survival as free people, but that is what it is. There is basically an information vacuum which has been instituted by the press and Brussels leadership. Indoctrination and repression of acts undermining the authority of the centralized state in their edicts to the people on "hate speech" has cowed many of the electorate who would otherwise recognize and resist, but who instead choose to take refuge in fear of offending the society controlled by the centralists.
It will not take long for many to recognize the mistake in allowing the persecution and attempt to eradicate the Vlaams Belang. It may be too late for them to recognize the importance of doing so, for their own saftey and the continuation of the charming and secure existence that many think they now live.
Changes to traditional society are going to be devastating and the devastation will come not from Vlaams Belang, but from the centralized authorities in the secretive corners of Brussels. Fear of change by Vlaams Belang will be replaced when the secure fabric of socialized ignorance is torn, and replaced with institutionalized repression of individuals as well as legal popular parties. The repression will be assisted by those who are not Flemish or Wallon by birth or sympathies. Secutities which now seem so certain will be depleted by required sharing with more powerful centralists and their immigrant base.
"is Belgium’s largest
Submitted by Amsterdamsky on Tue, 2007-02-13 11:39.
"is Belgium’s largest party. It strives for the independence of Flanders and its election victories might lead to the falling apart of Belgium and, since Belgium’s capital Brussels is the EU capital, threaten the stability of the European Union."
So the failure of the EU is caused by the VB? Incredible.