The Low Countries at Their Lowest

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


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Nor does NRC say anything “about the background of the Israeli blockade” – namely, that it was necessitated by attacks on Israeli targets by Hamas, a group committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.  When NRC refers to Israeli figures, moreover, its way of identifying them almost invariably gives away the paper’s slant.  In 2009 Moll read in NRC about an Israeli writer who, as he discovered through a quick Wikipedia search, described himself as “left-wing”; butNRC described him simply as “the writer Yossi Melman.” By contrast, when the same reporter, in the same column, mentioned Caroline Glick, he called her – absurdly, in both Moll’s view and mine – “the ultra-conservative columnist for the Jerusalem Post.” In NRC one can see Hamas and Hezbollah described not as terrorist groups but as “movements”; a 2009 NRC review of two books about Hamas contains no reference whatsoever to its anti-Semitism.  And what of the notorious case of Mohammed al-Dura, in which France 2′s report on a Palestinian boy’s murder by the IDF was later shown by journalist Philippe Karsenty to be a hoax?  NRC chose to ignore the evidence and stand by France 2′s story.  Against the explicit opposition of the foreign desk, Moll managed to publish a review of  the documentary The Child, Death, and the Truth (2009) by German journalist Esther Schapira – which marked the first time NRC chose to pay attention to this infamous incident.

Moll also writes about the now-infamous commentary, published in NRC on May 6, 2002, in which editor-in-chief Folkert Jensma viciously misrepresented Pim Fortuyn, then the leading candidate for prime minister of the Netherlands, as a racist, xenophobic threat to the Netherlands’ open society.  That very day, Fortuyn was murdered in cold blood.  Jensma did not learn his lesson.  On October 2, 2010, he warned against “strong speakers” who preach discrimination.  He mentioned no names, but he was clearly referring to Wilders.  For Moll, the current philosophy of NRC is summed up in a single inane statement by Jensma: “It is the pride of the Netherlands that we believe one culture is not superior over the other.” On the contrary, insists Moll, it is the pride of the Netherlands that it possesses a “humanistic culture” that is indeed “better than those found in patriarchal, Islamic cultures where violence against women, Jews, and apostates is glorified.”

One story is this book is especially unsettling.  Less than an hour after the slaughter of Theo van Gogh, Moll, was standing at the crime scene surrounded by horrified passersby.  Next to him, a teenage girl of Mediterranean origin said with a laugh that van Gogh should not have insulted God.  Moll decided not to quote her words in the article he wrote that day – perhaps, after all, she was just an isolated fool whose insensitive remark was not representative of anything.  Yet within twenty-four hours after the murder it was clear that Bouyeri enjoyed widespread support among Dutch Muslims.  Moll was reminded of 9/11, after which Dutch Muslims also celebrated in the streets.  But “only a small proportion of these reactions make it into the newspaper….Nobody dares to suggest that there is broad support for such views.”

Such, more or less, is the editorial culture not only at NRC but also at many an elite left-leaning newspaper in the Western world today.  This is why Hans Moll’s book is so important.  If only some conscientious soul would quit the Times or the Guardian and give us an earful between hard covers,  just as Moll has done!  Memoirs by defectors from these institutions, if properly attended to, could go a long way toward demystifying the aura of authority and objectivity that, alas, so many of them still enjoy in so many quarters – and might actually immunize many otherwise intelligent and sensible people to their insidious propaganda.

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  • Larry

    What does NRC stand for?

    • g_jochnowitz

      Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant

  • BS77

    The Dutch, the English, the French…..take that PC libtard multicult open immigration weed, stuff it in yer pipe and smoke it….choke choke, cough cough….yeah, choke on it. How do you like it now? It's a nasty thing, isn't it? You have invited the Trojan Horse into your gates and now you moan in regret. Well, whaddya goin' do?

  • Guest

    There seems to be a psychological need, among Left wing Westerners, to always look the other way when non-white people commit acts of hatred and violence, and to somehow put the ultimate responsibility on the West, for everything.

    Where does this need comes from? Western cultures are probably, by and large, the most sensitized cultures when it comes to intolerance and hatred. Thanks to the progressive Left wing tradition in Western countries, Western cultures are the most sensitized and consciously anti-racist and inclusive societies in the world. But somehow
    this admirable quality, brought to us by the LEFT- is completely lost when it comes to bigotry and sexism and racism and imperialist aspirations from non-Western people.
    In fact, it is THE LEFT that is the most active in looking for explanations to excuse racism, imperialism and violence when it comes from non-Western people.

    Where else but in Western countries has it become a stigmata to even give a hint of prejudice towards people from other cultures and races?

    Why is it that precisely these highly-conscientiously anti-racist culture strives to find excuses for the most vitriol, retrograde forms of bigotry and hatred when the perpetrators are non-white? Why does precisely this Western culture which frowns on religious bigotry from Christian conservatives, find excuses for much worse bigotry and violence when the religious bigots happen to be Muslim?

    Are we so used to examining our own Western crimes -past and present-, that we no longer even accept the idea that fascism and imperialism and racism and sexism are by no means exclusive property of Europeans?

    WTF is wrong with us?

    • traeh

      I think the answer is partly that the left to some extent projects human relationships as experienced in the West, onto relations between States. In the West, a significant threshhold of maturity is crossed when we recognize that the "Other" is not to be rejected or scapegoated, and that we shouldn't project our own flaws onto him. And that (unconsciously) Christian attitude works decently well in a culture that has had 2000 years to figure out "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's", i.e., to figure out separation of religion and state, individualism (based on freedom of conscience), etc. In a society of individual rights, respect for the Other as due equal rights and respect to oneself generally works. But then many on the left take that psychological epiphany of altruism and open-mindedness, approrpriate in their own society, and project it in a very self-centered way on the whole world. But what if the whole world doesn't believe in individual freedom? What if the whole world doesn't believe in separating religion and state? What if there is totalitarianism? And so the left, by a paradoxical provincialism, ignorantly projects its own decency onto evil actors. And any conservative who suggests that there are evil actors is treated as a backwoods provincial who has never learned to be open to the Other. But in fact, in some ways the conservative is more open to the Other, because the conservative in some cases recognizes the actual character of the Other, where the liberal does not.

    • David Tsal

      What's wrong with us is that we are human beings.

      We are all human. As humans, we are made of both desire for good and desire for evil.

      Leftists believe that evil can be defeated. This is already a big mistake, but they also forget to take into account the evil withiin themselves, or even don't see it at all. But it's there. So it's bound to come out. If it doesn't come out one way, it comes out the other, as in support of every non-white dictatorship and shenanigans (and even the "correct" white ones, llike those from Communist Soviet Union.)

  • Jim

    Think…" left wing bigotry"

  • steven l

    Is it not true that Holland send to the Concentration Camps more Jews than any other country of Europe!

  • Thome

    Your brother and many others like him will one day wake up in the nightmare called reality, which is created by his stupid Flower Power Generation. Our world is dealing now with the damages caused by the crooked idea's born in the '60 movements. Everything is those people was false and morbide: starting by the adoration of mass murderers like Mao, Castro and Che Guevarra and end by political correctness toward Muslim terror. An excellent example for left wing elitism is the situation in Sweden and Norway who are slowly falling apart due to mass immigration of Third world anaphabetes who are creating Sharia enclaves in countries that tried to give them shelter.

  • diann

    I understand your comments. There is a price we pay for speaking the truth as we see it. It's true that our liberal friends and family will distance themselves from our message. Somehow we are expected to accept theirs without question. Be strong and hold to your beliefs…. always open to incoming information from any direction…. and an ability to adjust your views in the light of new evidence. Blessings….

  • StephenD

    Chez my friend, perhaps an appeal to the common values you both share is in order. For instance, he may not recognize that you both in fact, desire to see such things as Fairness and Equality upheld and that you both disapprove of Stealing, etc. All these ideas that you both share are approached from different angles and believed not held by the other. When you can show him you too truly care for the welfare of your fellow citizen and the way you would demonstrate that is by thus and such as opposed to his approach of this and that.
    My point is, the things that matter in life are mostly shared and once acknowledged can be the foundation of growth (of your understanding and relationship with one another). Just my simple two cents.

  • BS61

    He may still wake up – I did just recently! I was stuck in the MSM for way too long.

  • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

    So now God is responsible for the Holocaust, and not the Nazis, huh. So the Nazis had no choice in what they did and can't be held accountable? Who then was responsible for your post? Was that God too? *laughs* You can't be serious. You didn't even think through the results of your foolish position.

  • g_jochnowitz

    Why didn't God strike Hitler with a bolt of lightning? If He wants, He can still do so with Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah, etc.
    The only unambiguous victory of the Jews in the Bible is found in the Book of Esther, where God's name does not appear.
    As for the ten plagues, they were anti-Egyptian and only tangentially pro-Jewish. Once the Jews made it over the Sea of Reeds, they were left to die of thirst and get attacked by Amalekites and others.
    Here is my poem on the subject: http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/AfterTheBinding….