Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Gretta Duisenberg and Harry van Bommel- Two Dutch Hamas Apologists
Gretta Duisenberg and Harry van Bommel- Two Dutch Hamas Apologists
January 8, 2009
Gretta Duisenberg and Harry van Bommel - Two Dutch Hamas Apologists
By EMERSON VERMAAT
January 8, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - It was a rather cold Saturday afternoon in Amsterdam. On January 3, 2009, some 1500 anti-Israel demonstrators assembled at the famous Museum Square near the equally famous Van Gogh museum. Not so many people this time – compared to previous anti-Israel and anti-American demonstrations in Amsterdam, that is. What was interesting now was that those who assembled at Museum Square shouted pro-Hamas slogans like "Intifadah! Intifadah! Free Palestine!" and: "Hamas! Jihad! Hezbollah!" Intifadah, an Arab word, means "revolt" or "uprising."
Positioned right in front of these angry demonstrators were two prominent Dutch citizens: Gretta Duisenberg, widow of former European Banker Willem Duisenberg, and Dutch MP Harry van Bommel, foreign affairs specialist of the leftist "Socialist Party" (SP). They, too, shouted: "Intifadah! Intifadah! Free Palestine!" It happened to be right behind Gretta Duisenberg and Harry van Bommel that a couple of demonstrators began to shout the following notorious anti-Semitic slogan: "Hamas! Hamas! Gas all the Jews!" ("Hamas, Hamas! Alle joden aan het gas!") I saw this footage on "You Tube" myself – several times, that is. It was as if the anti-Semitic Nazis had occupied the Netherlands once again. vFew people still know it, but it was at this very same spot of Amsterdam's Museum Square that a huge liberation festival was organized on May 5, 1945, now more than 60 years ago. Back then, in May 1945, the Netherlands had just been liberated from the Nazis. The Dutch people were extremely happy that those who hated their Jewish countrymen had been defeated – the Nazis who sent so many of Amsterdam's Jews to the gas chambers and the death camps. Among them was a school girl named Anne Frank. Now, some idiotic extremists once again desecrate the ground by calling for the extermination of the Jews – gassing all of them, that is. It's a sacrilege, and no decent and sincere Dutch citizen should participate in such a demonstration.
There was, fortunately, an outcry in the Netherlands over this demonstration. Harry van Bommel was reprimanded by Socialist Party leader Agnes Kant. She was not happy about his obvious endorsement of the Intifadah. Harry van Bommel, however, lamely claimed that "Intifadah" does not just imply violence, it may imply "civil disobedience" as well. Is that so? By far most Palestinians clearly associate the Intifadah with jihad (=holy war) and violence. Moreover, it is an undeniable fact that some of those Museum Square demonstrators were shouting slogans in praise of not only Hamas but also Iran and Hezbollah as well as "jihad." A number of demonstrators were carrying posters of Ayatollah Khomeini and Hezbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah – not particularly advocates of pacifism or peaceful coexistence.
Gretta Duisenberg's anti-Semitism and pro-Hamas stance
Both Harry van Bommel and Gretta Duisenberg are splendid examples of radicalized Dutch leftists who now embrace radical Palestinian causes. Van Bommel claims he is opposed to violence, he says he is also against the kind of violence employed by Hamas. But he and Gretta Duisenberg never ever demonstrated against Hamas violence, Hamas suicide bombings and the thousands of Hamas missiles fired into Israel – targeting and killing Israeli civilians and destroying homes and schools. Hamas loves to kill Jews and recently even threatened to kill Jews all over the world.
On that same Saturday of January 3, 2009, pro-Palestinian marchers in Paris turned violent. The next day, riot police had to protect about 4,000 pro-Israel demonstrators who gathered outside the Israeli Embassy. Present at that pro-Hamas demonstration in Amsterdam – last Saturday – was a lone Dutch Jewish Christian named Ben Kok. He carried the Israeli flag. Angry demonstrators grabbed the flag and tried to destroy it. It is a miracle nothing happened to Ben Kok personally. Frits Barend, a well known Jewish television personality in Holland, recently told a Dutch interviewer that it upset him that it is no longer possible for Jewish people even to wear a yarmulke in certain areas of Amsterdam. Frits Barend is a friendly and tolerant secular Dutch Jew who does not care about religion. But he is deeply concerned about the rise of Nazi style Islamist anti-Jewish sentiments in Holland.
This is really something Harry van Bommel and Gretta Duisenberg should be as concerned about as they are now about Israel's behavior. After all, Amsterdam is the very city where both of them began to make their political careers. But I very much doubt they will ever participate in any demonstration against resurgent anti-Semitism. Gretta Duisenberg is suspected of being anti-Semitic herself after she said several ugly things about Jews and Israelis. For example, in September 2006, she said she approved the kidnapping of Jews and Israelis by Hezbollah. She added: "Israelis are always lying. Just looking at their heads (faces) will suffice. They are bastards." (Mind you, the Nazis also claimed that the Jews were irredeemable liars, you could just find that out by looking at their ugly faces.) Duisenberg later claimed her words had been "distorted."
It was during the German Nazi occupation of the Netherlands (1940-1945) that Gretta's father was a high ranking police official in the city of Haarlem (near Amsterdam). There are rumors that he cooperated with the Nazi occupiers. After the War his daughter Gretta became a vocal leftist. She befriended former CIA officer Philip Agee who defected to both the Cuban intelligence service DGI and the Russian secret service KGB. Former KGB officer Vasili Mitrokhin wrote that Agee's code name within the KGB was "Pont." According to Mitrokhin, who had access to numerous highly classified KGB files, the KGB actively assisted Agee in writing his book "Inside the Company." He was the KGB's "most valuable asset to discredit the Agency."
When Agee was expelled from Britain where he had found temporary refuge, the Amsterdam based "Transnational Institute" (TNI), a daughter organization of the Washington based "Institute for Policy Studies" (IPS), invited Agee to Amsterdam where he first met Gretta Bédier de Prairie-Nieuwenhuizen. ("Nieuwenhuizen" is Gretta's maiden name, "Bédier de Prairie" was the name of a previous husband of hers, she later married Willem Duisenberg.) The pro-Cuban Transnational Institute was a leftist thinktank which also sympathized strongly with the Palestinian Arab cause. One of the interesting people who financially supported Philip Agee during the latter's stay in Amsterdam was a Pakistani man named Mahtaq Malik. Malik also happened to be a rather close friend of Gretta's. (He frequently visited Gretta's Amsterdam home in the Bernard Zweerskade.) The same Malik was one of the most prominent drug dealers in the Netherlands.
It was in 2002 that Gretta Duisenberg founded her own organization: "Stop the Occupation" ("Stop de Bezetting"). After some 6000 signatures in support of "Stop de Occupation" had been collected, Dutch radio journalist Hetty Luberding asked Gretta how many more signatures she hoped to collect. "Let me see, six million," Gretta said and she smiled as if it were a joke. It was anything but funny. After all, six million Jews fell victim to the Holocaust. But Gretta claimed it had not been her intention at all to refer to the Holocaust. Dutch public prosecutor Paul Velleman decided not to prosecute Gretta Duisenberg. But he did qualify her remarks as "offensive to Jews."
In 2006 Gretta Duisenberg said she was "very happy" that Hamas was now in control of Gaza. She did not believe that Hamas was a terrorist organization. "Just a few of them are inclined to terrorism," she said. They are incited by "Israel's needless aggressive behavior." She did not even hesitate to praise the Hamas leadership.
Gretta Duisenberg is not just an apologist for Hamas, she is also a fellow-traveller comparable to the naive fellow-travellers of the 1930s who praised the then Soviet Russian dictator Stalin and his abominable communist system. Stalin was humane, he was a man of peace, his Euopean and American admirers claimed. In fact, Stalin was one of the most brutal dictators ever, and a Jew-hater as well. Although he died in 1953, an ever growing number of Russians still admire him. Quite worrying. The spirit of Stalinism is being revived in today's Russia.
Harry van Bommel MP: harassing women and commending fundamentalist websites
Harry van Bommel, that other demonstrator in Amsterdam who shouted "Intifadah! Intifadah!" is a very interesting fellow. In fact, his secular lifestyle differs substantially from the severe lifestyle of his fundamentalist Hamas friends. Although a married man, van Bommel has a reputation of being a womanizer. There even is at least one report claiming he harassed a Jordanian woman employed by the Dutch Embassy in Amman. She officially complained in July 2007 saying she had been harassed by Dutch Socialist Party member of parliament van Bommel during the latter's visit to Jordan. Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen told the Dutch weekly "Elsevier" that the Jordanian woman in question regarded van Bommel's behavior towards her as "very pushy." Van Bommel later apologized for his behavior, but that step hardly changed his image as a womanizer.
It may not be so strange that Harry van Bommel MP does not regard polygamy as something evil. He praised the radical Islamist website "Al Yaqeen" of firebrand cleric Sheikh Fawaz Jneid of the Salafist "As Soenna Mosque" in the Dutch city of The Hague. Van Bommel said Fawaz's controversial website was "very informative." "I am very impressed by it," he said. Mind you, the very same website commends polygamy as a normal lifestyle for Muslims. "If a man's libido is stronger than that of his wife, marrying a second wife may be the best option for him. Allah knows everything better." (Indeed, Sheikh Fawaz's "Allah" obviously never ever objected to the many polygamous marriages conducted at the "As Soenna Mosque," and this, unfortunately, is by no means the only mosque in Europe where such marriages are being conducted.) Another telling quote from Fawaz's website: "A woman who refuses to have sexual intercourse with her husband? That is forbidden (Haram). The Angels will curse her until she rises up in the morning."
"Women should not be disadvantaged by their sex, they should be recognized as having human dignity equal to that of man," writes Susan Moller Okin in the Princeton book "Is Multiculturalism bad for Women?"
It is quite objectionable that a leftist Dutch socialist like Harry van Bommel MP commends the website of a Salafist hate cleric who sees women as objects of sexual pleasure. Recently, a rich Saudi man married an eight year old girl. Such paedophile behavior constitutes a crime in civilized cultures. Rightly so. So does polygamy.
Emerson Vermaat, MA (law), is an investigative reporter specialized in terrorism and crime. His latest book "Nazi's, Communisten en Islamisten" ("Nazis, Communists and Islamists") was published in October/November 2008 by "Aspekt Publishers" in Soesterberg, the Netherlands. This is a 300-page study on the linkages between leftist extremists, neo-Nazis and radical Muslims or Islamists. Hamas, for example, not only enjoys a support in German neo-Nazi circles but also among leftists and so-called anti-globalists.
The author frequently visited the Middle East and North Africa, usually for Dutch television. In 1996 he made the TV news report "The Making of a Suicide Bomber," aired in over 40 countries (World Television News, WTN). In a 1997 Dutch study on Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism the author described the central role of Osama bin Laden in international terrorism, being the first European journalist to do so.