This explains why many leftist Dutch are so puzzled by Geert Wilders. While they can understand that the blue-collar lower classes oppose immigrants – because they are unsophisticated and dumb – they find it hard to understand why a seemingly intelligent man like Geert Wilders is fighting the Islamization of his home country.
Last week, an article by the cultural anthropologist Lizzy van Leeuwen in the leftist weekly De Groene Amsterdammer (“The Green Amsterdammer”) caused a stir. She explains Wilders’s “rabid anti-immigration and anti-Islam ideas” as stemming from his ethnic mix. The article is considered to be “an intellectual attempt to analyze what drives Wilders.” According to Mrs. van Leeuwen his statements – plus the fact that he dies his hair peroxide blond – are connected to his genealogical link to Indonesia, the largest Islamic country in the world.
Of Barack Obama it is said that his worldview has been influenced by his childhood years in Indonesia, the former Dutch colony that is also said to have shaped Geert Wilders’s worldview. Van Leeuwen reveals that Wilders’s maternal grandmother, Johanna Meijer, was a member of a prominent Jewish-Indonesian family. Her husband, Johan Ording, was a regional financial administrator in the Dutch colony. According to van Leeuwen, the latter was fired while on leave in the Netherlands and reduced to poverty when the government refused to give him a pension. Van Leeuwen says that Wilders is out to avenge the injustice done to his granddad.
The Indonesian colonial background of his grandfather is also said to explain Wilders’s “far-right” opinions. She claims that in the 1930s many colonial administrators sympathized with the Dutch Nazi party NSB. After the independence of Indonesia in 1949, they were forced to leave for the Netherlands. This frustrating experience led to their attachment to patriotism and European values. Moreover, they harbored strong sentiments against Islam, the dominant religion in Indonesia. In Wilders’s case, his anti-Islamic and pro-Israeli feelings were exacerbated by the Jewish origin of his grandmother.
Van Leeuwen’s revelations – if true, because Wilders has not responded to them and keeps his private life absolutely private – do not explain, however, how Wilders’s father can have harbored sympathies for the anti-Semitic NSB while being married to a Jewish wife. That accusation makes her thesis highly unlikely, if not ridiculous.
It is astonishing, however, that leftist intellectuals in Europe no longer see a contradiction between Nazism and pro-Jewish positions. Indeed, Israel is consistently depicted by the European left as a racist Nazi-like state. Meanwhile, the Dutch media criticize Wilders for not disclosing his genealogy. “Wilders hides his family roots,” a major (center-right) Dutch newspaper headlined.
No-one ever demands (would even dream of demanding) that a leftist politician, even one from the far-left, disclose who his ancestors are in order to allow anthropologists to come up with an explanation for his crazy political views. However, a politician on the right, who is pro-Israel and opposes the Islamization of Europe, is treated like a weirdo whose “ethnic mix” has to be researched in order to explain his “incorrect” ideas. When he insists on keeping his family out of the limelight, he is accused of trying to hide something and has the media delving into the lives of his long deceased parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, trying to find the Jew, the Nazi, preferably both, and preferably both combined in one person.
Who, if we may ask, is crazy in Europe today?
Meanwhile, while the Dutch media were discussing the Jewish-Indonesian background of Geert Wilders’s maternal grandparents, the Dutch government announced that it will not respond to a question which Wilders and other members of his Freedom Party (PVV) had tabled in the Dutch parliament. The PVV had asked the government to calculate the cost of non-Western mass immigration into the Netherlands, a country of 16.5 million inhabitants. Last July, the conservative weekly Elsevier calculated, based on a 2003 study of the government’s own Central Plan Bureau, that immigration had cost the Dutch taxpayer 12.7 billion euro in 2008 (5% of government expenditure) and over 400 billion euro in the past four decades.
The government told the PVV that it will not disclose the cost of non-Western immigrants to the prison system, welfare, health care, schools and the maintenance of law and order. The Dutch integration minister Eberhard van der Laan told the PVV parliamentarians: “We are not interested in what an individual, whether he be a Frisian, an Amsterdammer, an elderly person or somebody with blue eyes, costs.”