Human Shield in Ramallah - Menselijk Schild in Ramallah
by Luuk Koelman translated by Beila Rabinowitz
Gretta van Duisenberg is lying on her cot, in the Arafat's ruined compound, somewhere in Ramallah. She is wide awake. Her bare feet are sticking out from under the covers. She can see her polished red toenails which match her white satin night gown. The sound of an ambulance echoes in the distance. Her travel clock indicates that it is exactly 6:12 .
Yasser Arafat is lying on the cot next to her, the man for whom she is prepared to give her life as a human shield. She wants to be with him day and night. Gretta thinks about his mental stamina and of that of the Palestinian people, who have been fighting the occupation for so long.
She thinks about the uneven struggle.
David against Goliath.
Arafat is sleeping like a baby. He snores with pleasure. What a darling!
And not just that; this fragile man is has something macho about him, sleeping with his uniform on. She finds it very erotic. A man must always be prepared in time of war.
Gretta carefully leans over Arafat's face. She studies his grey and white beard stubble, his blubbery lips, and the wrinkled black and white checkered cloth on his head. He appears exotic, unkempt, his chest rises softly up and down under the blankets.
Then it happens.
Yasser turns in his sleep. He stretches, sighs, and pushes his knee sharply against her thigh. Gretta's body begins to tremble. She hasn't had this feeling in years. The thrill of the forbidden !
She feels like a girl of twenty.
What should she do?
Yasser isn't a man that you just take into your arms. Anyway, he's much too small for that.
Again she feels the raw touch of his knees. Gretta thinks about all the 'bad boys', and on the excitement of being in love. She feels weak. This man is so much more exciting then her husband Wim.
This man needs her.
Then nature takes it's course.
Gretta pulls up the blankets hurls herself on Arafat, and has her way with him.
Five minutes earlier :
Yasser Arafat is lying on his cot in his ruined compound, somewhere in Ramallah. He hears a siren in the distance . Arafat is awake, but he lies still and keeps his eyes closed.
He's been stuck with that groupie in blue jeans ever since she climbed through the hole in the wall of his study.
He feigns sleep. And now, as if things couldn't get any worse, the self appointed 'human shield' is right next to him.
The cot starts begins to creak. Gretta's head with her coiffed black hair is very close. He smells her distinct perfume. For the first time in his life he is afraid. The witch wants something from him. He shudders at the thought. Good thing he kept his clothes on.
He has to act immediately!
Arafat snorts and turns, pulling up his knees to prepare himself. He pushes against Gretta with all his might.
Israel out of the occupied territory and this creepy woman out of bed ! Her body appears to be responding to his efforts. Arafat pushes again like he never pushed before.
Suddenly the cot creaks and shakes and he feels the blankets being ripped from him.
Oh, Allah, help me, thinks Arafat, while Gretta's thighs hold him in their merciless grip.
This is the most horrific ordeal of my life. This is far worse then any Israeli retaliatory strike.
Background and translations of Gretta Duisenberg's lawyers letter to Luuk Koelman and Koelman's response:
Gretta Duisenberg vs. Luuk Koelman
Gretta Duisenberg sued Luuk Koelman and he was ordered to remove the piece from his site and post a scripted apology.
In a letter to Luuk Koelman, Duisenberg's lawyer, Mr. O. Trojan wrote:
" Mrs.Duisenberg is portrayed as a na´ve groupie, who attempts to have intimate contact with Yasser Arafat against his will.. Her
Her husband, Wim Duisenberg ,is also mentioned in the piece.
Mrs. Duisenberg is portrayed in a degrading and sexist manner".
The legal ruling stated that Duisenberg's 'good name and reputation' superceded Koelman's right to free speech.
In 2003 Duisenberg had organised anti Israel demonstration where she marched arm in arm with women from Jenin. Demonstrators had shouted slogans like "Hamas,Hamas, all the Jews to the Gas".
A Jewish passerby was beaten after demonstrators had shouted "Get the Jew" when he walked by wearing a yamulka .The police stood by as he was assaulted. Two Jewish pedestrians dragged him into a hotel nearby. The hotel windows were smashed by the mob.
Money was also collected for the banned Al Aqsa funds which provided aid to suicide bombers and their families.
Duisenberg claims that Ground Zero was nothing compared to Jenin , and that "the heart of the city had been wiped out".
As a sign of solidarity with her beloved Arafat and his people, Gretta hung a PLO flag from the balcony of her home in an upscale Dutch suburb and started a nationwide campaign to get people to do the same.
When her Jewish neighbors requested that she it down she told them:
"It's the rich Jews who enable Israel to harm the Palestinians". http://www.bintjbiel.com/article/en/021101_dar.html
When asked by a radio commentator,during an anti Israel rally, how many signatures she wanted for her "Stop the Occupation" petition being circulated by her group of the same name, Duisenberg had replied, "Six million" and laughed . http://gipsy20010.tripod.com/saliencevoices/id52.html
In 2003 , Dr. Herman Loonstein, head of the Dutch Jewish Federation, and lawyer Abraham Moszkowicz, filed charges against Duisenberg for "anti semitic and racist remarks." The charges were filed in the names of several members of the Jewish community, as well as their 44 blood relatives who had been murdered in Nazi externination camps.
The head of the police anti discrimination department Paul Velleman wrote:
"Gretta Duisenberg has made statements expressly intended to insult and distress Jews (and many others).She has "contributed to the poisoning of the atmosphere and the decline of norms and morals which should be found in the sphere of public debate". Velleman claimed that from legal standpoint "Duisenberg had not libeled Jews nor spoken in a way to incite racial hatred."
The state prosecutor refused to take the case.
Gretta Duisenberg was neither sentenced nor forced to apologize.
The judge deemed her remarks "nasty but not inflammatory".
Prof. Loonstein received death threats, but no police protection.
Gretta Duisenberg went on to sue Willebord Frequin, a Jewish entertainer, for having placed a large Israeli flag on her house.
Duisenberg vs. Luuk Koelman
The court found that "the admiration that Duisenberg had for Yasser Arafat and her announcement that she was prepared to be a human shield for the Palestinian leader, was clearly meant in the context of the Palestinian situation and had nothing to do with Arafat's person".
There was no basis for placing Duisenberg in the erotic context, and that placing her there was meant to do grievous harm. The comparison of (her actions) being worse then an Israeli retaliatory strike is disproportionate and intentionally insulting".
Letter from Gretta Duisenberg's lawyer demanding that Luuk Koelman remove "Human Shield in Ramallah" parody from his website. 22/10/03
Gretta Duisenberg has instructed me to be her legal counsel in the following matter:
In the Oct. 16th edition of Metro you wrote a column entitled:"Human Shield in Ramallah".This is a parody wherein Mrs.Duisenberg is the central character. In the column Mrs.Duisenberg is ,to put it bluntly, portrayed as a na´ve groupie ,who in blinde adoration attempts intimate contact with Yasser Arafat against his will.
The husband of Mrs. Duisenberg is also mentioned.
It is a known legal principal that the writer of a column enjoys a greater degree of freedom then the writer of an editorial piece. Conversely, it is a known legal principal that free speech also has it's limits. Expressions and opinions which are seen as unnecessarily hurtful, or have no other purpose then to upset someone, are illegal.
In this case the right of free speech is superceded by Mrs.Duisenberg's right to privacy and her good name. In your column the limits of free speech were crossed. Mrs.Duisenberg had no opportunity to defend herself and was insulted in a degrading and sexist manner. This constitutes an unacceptable breach of Mrs.Duisenberg's personal integrity.
In addition ,it must be stated that Mrs.Duisenberg in no way what so ever has given cause to be parodied in an erotic context. Further, it must be remarked that your column serves no purpose whatsoever. The column was only meant to damage Mrs. Duisenberg. As such, your column only serves to ondermine free speech and expression .
Based on the illegal nature of your column , I urge -and in so far as necessary-demand-that you remove the column from your site immediately.
Further, Mrs. Duisenberg demands that you place, without any additional commentary, the following notification on your website:
Postscript in the case of Gretta Duisenberg: In the Metro of 16th October a column was published written by me entitled :"Human Shield in Ramallah". This is a column in which Mrs. Duisenberg is portrayed in a degrading and sexist manner as a groupie of Yasser Arafat. Even though I believe that a columnist should be permitted a certain degree of free speech, my column about Mrs.Duisenberg crossed the line. I have apologized to Mrs.Duisenberg, for the breach of her personal intergrity and removed the column from my website."
I urge-and if necessary-demand-that you prove to me by 5 pm tommorrow, that this column has been removed from your site, and that the apology which has been provided above be placed for a minimum of six months on your website in it's place.
I have instructions from Mrs. Duisenberg to file a lawsuit if any of these conditions are not met .In that case a a demand for restitution will also be made.
Luuk Koelman's response:
Thank your for your amusing letter.
I would like to draw your attention to one passage:
"The name of Mrs.Duisenberg's husband was also mentioned".
In this case you are ,in my humble opinion, measuring with two scales.
Mrs.Duisenberg is in the public eye,precisely because she is the wife of Mr.Duisenberg.
If,she had been named Gretta van de Pas, (like the wife of the dance school owner who runs a dance school by the same name on my block), no one would have noticed her at all.