Dutch talks on forming a four-party government coalition collapsed Monday over differences on migration policy. Migration policy was one of the most divisive issues in the March parliamentary vote, as the Netherlands — along with other wealthy Western European nations — grappled with how best to cope with the stream of migrants fleeing war and poverty in North Africa and the Middle East.
The behind-closed-doors negotiations were between election winner the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, or VVD, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Christian Democrats, the centrist D66 party and pro-environment Green Left party.
“The four parties in the end could not bridge the differences on migration policy,” Rutte told us.
“We all tried to bring together an almost impossible combination,” said Green Left leader Jesse Klaver. “Today, it turned out that the differences were too great.”
For years, the Dutch mainstream media have spread hatred and defamation against Geert Wilders for trying to warn the Dutch people and Europe -about what their future will be if they continue their current immigration policies; in exchange, a panel of three judges found him guilty of inciting discrimination. Newspapers and politicians all over Europe unceasingly describe him as a dangerous man and a rightist firebrand. Sometimes they call him a fascist.
What did Wilders ever do to deserve that? None of his remarks ever incriminated any person or group because of their race or ethnicity. To charge him, the Dutch justice system had excessively and abusively to interpret words he used during a rally in which he asked if the Dutch wanted fewer Moroccans. None of Wilders’s speeches incites violence against anyone; the violence that surrounds him is directed only at him. He defends human rights and democratic principles and he is a resolute enemy of all forms of antisemitism.
His only pseudo-crime is to denounce the danger represented by the Islamization of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe and to claim that Islam represents a mortal threat to freedom. Unfortunately, he has good empirical reasons to say that. Also unfortunately, the Netherlands is a country where criticism of Islam is particularly dangerous: Theo van Gogh made an Islamically incorrect film in 2004 and was savagely murdered by an Islamist who said he would kill again if he could. Two years earlier, Pim Fortuyn, who had hoped to stand for election, defined Islam as a hostile religion; he was killed by a leftist Islamophile animal-rights activist. Wilders is alive only because he is under around-the-clock police protection.
More broadly, the Netherlands is a country where the Muslim community shows few signs of integration. There are now forty no-go zones in the country; riots easily erupt in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Nijmegen. Ragheads repeatedly attack Dutch-born citizens. Some are so sure of their impunity that they publish online videos of their crimes. Throughout the country, an ethnic cleansing that Europeans are too scared to name is taking place in the suburbs, and non-Muslim residents often say they feel harassed.
Non-Muslim women are encouraged by local authorities to dress modestly. As in Islam dogs are haram (impure), dog owners are asked to keep their pets indoors. Ragheads demonstrate and shout slogans in support of Hamas and Jihadis.
Daily life has become particularly difficult for the 40,000 Jews still living in the country; districts long inhabited by members of the Jewish community have become almost entirely Muslim. Authorities recommend that Jews avoid any visible sign of Jewishness to avoid creating unrest. Muslim delinquency is high; the percentage of Muslims sent to jail for various crimes is notably higher than the percentage of Muslims in the population. Six percent of the country’s population are Muslim; about 20% of all inmates are Muslim. None of this is secret.
The only person talking about these problems is Wilders. Dutch political leaders and most journalists seemingly prefer to claim that Wilders is the problem; that if he were not there, these problems would not exist. At best, they utter fuzzy words intended to show strength; at worst, they turn their back. A large percentage of the Dutch population is anxious; the constant demonization of Wilders apparently tries to indoctrinate the people to settle for less.
In the years to come, the situation in the country is certain to deteriorate. The Muslim birth rate is higher than the non-Muslim one. Dozens of churches close each year due to the rapid decline in the number of practicing Christians; the churches are replaced by mosques. Radical preachers keep coming and proselytizing; Islamist organizations keep recruiting.
Islamic riots occur more and more often. Ethnic gangs are growing more violent. Ethnic cleansing is transforming neighborhoods. Jews are leaving for Israel or North America. The Muslim population is sharply increasing. Radical mosques are proliferating. Islamic organizations are everywhere. Politicians who dare to speak the way Geert Wilders does are treated the way Geert Wilders is treated : scorned, marginalized, put on trial.
A utopian vision of the world explains why in Europe, people such as Geert Wilders are seen as the incarnation of evil, but radical Islam is considered a marginal nuisance bearing no relation to the religion of peace. Meanwhile, Wilders is condemned to live under protection as if he were in jail, while those who want to slaughter him walk around free.
Rutte’s VVD and the Christian Democrats both advocated a tough migration policy in the latest election campaign while the Green Left wanted a more generous approach toward people fleeing war and repression.
Geert Wilders called the collapse very good news. He told us his Party for Freedom is fully available to join any future coalition-building talks.
However, Rutte and other mainstream party leaders have repeatedly said they will not work with Wilders.
Rutte will now have to start the hunt for new possible coalition partners.
He could replace the Green Left party at the negotiating table with the small, faith-based party Christian Union. A coalition of Rutte’s VVD, the Christian Democrats, D66 and the Christian Union would have a one-seat majority with 76 seats in the 150-seat lower house.
Dutch lawmakers will likely debate about the government formation process before a new round of talks is scheduled.