11/03/2005

In The Netherlands - Common Sense

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende had some harsh words for the Iranian presidents threat to wipe Israel off the map. He was speaking at the special commemoration service in the main Ashkenazi synagogue of Amsterdam, the Rav Aron Schuster Synagogue, to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Holocaust.

"Tonight we commemorate the killing of six million Jewish people, among them a lot of your community. The danger of anti-Semitism is, alas, still with us. I think, for example, about the latest words of the Iranian president to wipe out the State of Israel, which are absolutely reprehensible and unacceptable.


"Participation is crucial for living together in peace and that goes very well with maintaining ones on identity. Key-notions in a multicultural society are integration, participation, and to know and to respect each other. That's what you always did, and I find that most admirable, the Dutch political leader added.YNET

He sees the rising menace of anti-Semitism across the world and specifically mentions the evilness of the Iranian president's words. We cannot allow another Holocaust to occur. Anti-Semitism must be confronted wherever it appears.

It struck me that there is a great deal of common sense in his remarks about a multicultural society. Integration and participation are key aspects. Another is mutual respect. He is seems to be describing the vast melting pot that we have in America. People immigrate to this country. They learn its ways and in turn we learn. Everyone is Irish on St. Patricks Day. Cinque de Mayo is celebrated widely. We have new foods and phrases that crop up and become a part of our lives. But does that mean that our basic principles and beliefs change, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and capital opportunities? No it doesn't.

8 Comments:

Blogger patrickafir said...

"They learn its ways and in turn we learn. Everyone is Irish on St. Patricks Day. Cinque de Mayo is celebrated widely. We have new foods and phrases that crop up and become a part of our lives."

This is a point that so many fail to see. Integration is key.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

patrickafir,

Integration is the key and if it doesn't exist, you have situations like what France is going through.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Felis said...

"Everyone is Irish on St. Patricks Day."

How very true.
It is interesting to see if the Netherlands will have some youths starting "friendly" riots after these comments.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

felis,

Even if they do, I don't think the Dutch will tolerate it like the French seem to have.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Patrick: CINCO de Mayo. It's a California thing (in that it is EXTREMELY widely celebrated here). ;0)>

2:54 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

Great post, seawitch. You nailed the ugly monster on the head.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

esther,

Thank you!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

mark,

Cinco de Mayo is beginning to widely celebrated down here also. There are lots of Spanish/English signs popping up.

5:52 PM  

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