Little Green Footballs

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tomorrow's news today

Tomorrow "The Blogosphere" will erupt in jubilation over the news that Gretta Duisenberg is in hot water over some anti-Jewish comments she made on a Dutch TV show.

On Friday afternoon, Gretta Duisenberg was questioned by Amsterdam police over some controversial remarks she made on the TV program "The Black Sheep." She said the following about Jewish women: "They're not just taking over Palestinian lands, but also the restaurants in [the Amsterdam neighborhood of] Old-South." A number of people from the Jewish community filed complaints. It is not yet known whether Duisenberg will be subject to prosecution. According to Duisenberg, she made her remarks in the context of her experiences of often being approached in a threatening manner by political supporters of the Israeli cause.

You might well ask, who the hell is Gretta Duisenberg? She's the widow of a former president of the European Central Bank who is also a favorite hate figure of the right-wing élite because of her outspoken pro-Palestinian views.

Now she's inadvertently put the Europe-wide debate over "hate speech" (particularly speech aimed at members of specific religions) in an entirely new context. As "The Blogosphere" will be breathlessly reporting, any minute now...


Buck said...

I don't understand. Are you saying that the comments were perfectly ok?

Perhaps she is being taken out of context.

You have characterized her as "outspoken" in her pro-palestinian views. She also says she is attacked by "political supporters" of Israeli causes. As a response to that attack, she is calling for less jewish women in Resturants?

Can you clear this up a bit more?


Winston Smith said...

I think she was trying to make a clumsy joke about the way she is treated by some people who object to her pro-Palestinian activism. It was a pretty stupid thing to say, but the fact that she is being investigated for anti-Jewish hate speech means that those who are defending anti-Muslim hate speech here in Europe (cf. the 'Jyllands Posten' incident) now have slightly less of a coherent case.

In fact, there are only two coherent positions: that *all* "hate speech" laws are invalid, or that they're all valid. I tend toward the former view, which still doesn't change the fact that Duisenberg is an idiot.