4 MPs in Geert Wilders Party Wear Badges with Neo-Nazi Insignia

image

This is Robert Spencer‘s “defenders of freedom”: Neo-Nazis.

Row after four MPs wear badges in Dutch parliament featuring neo-Nazi insignia

(IrishTimes)

A row has broken out over four MPs of Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party who wore badges in the Dutch parliament this week featuring a well-known neo-Nazi insignia which has links to the country’s infamous national socialist party of the 1930s.

The display came on Thursday after exchanges the previous day when the leader of the centre-left D66 party, Alexander Pechtold, called on Mr Wilders to distance himself from extremists who waved the Prinsen flag and gave Nazi salutes at a Freedom Party rally in The Hague last weekend.

Against an all-time high in opinion polls, the rally was the start of what Mr Wilders has promised will be a popular backlash against EU austerity measures “imposed” by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s trailing Liberal-Labour coalition government “at the behest of” Brussels.

Right-wing umbrella
He has also revealed plans for an alliance of right-wing parties – including the National Front in France, Alternative for Germany, and the Northern League in Italy – to fight European Parliament elections next May, a strategy supported recently by National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

Spats in parliament featuring Geert Wilders are nothing new, but his exchanges with Mr Pechtold were unusually bad-tempered and vitriolic.

When Mr Pechtold asked how he felt about Ms Le Pen’s belief that “Jewish skull caps should be banned”, Mr Wilders replied by describing Mr Pechtold as “a sad, miserable, hypocritical, little man” whose question was “too miserable to be taken seriously”.

The Freedom Party leader said he was “proud” of last weekend’s rally, and “proud of everyone who attended it”.

Not anti-Semitic

However, he did qualify that: “It goes without saying that the PVV [Freedom Party] and its thousands of supporters have nothing to do with extremism or anti-Semitism. The PVV has nothing to do with that sort of idiocy.”

The following day, however, the four MPs – including Martin Bosma, one of Mr Wilders’s closest associates – sat together in parliament wearing badges featuring the Prinsen flag, which is virtually identical to the Dutch flag except that its red horizontal bar is replaced with an orange one.

The Prinsen flag was first carried by followers of William of Orange in the 80 Years War against Spain in the 16th century, and is still used by extreme right-wing groups such as Stormfront. It was adopted by the national socialists during the 1930s because of its links with “a golden age” for the Netherlands. Because of those Nazi associations, it was replaced with the current flag in 1937 on the instructions of Queen Wilhelmina, who fled to London during the war.

Mr Wilders has refused to comment, as in 2011 when the Prinsen flag was photographed in his party’s offices.

Ratko Mladic on Trial For Genocide that Islamophobes Love to Deny

Suffice to say many Islamophobes deny the Genocide against Bosnian Muslims, chief amongst them are Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

Ratko Mladic goes on trial for genocide

(AlJazeera English)

The trial of General Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army chief accused of orchestrating war crimes and a campaign of genocide, has begun at a special UN court at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia made their opening statements against Mladic on Wednesday almost a year after his arrest in Serbia and subsequent deportation after years on the run.

Mladic is accused of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including orchestrating the week-long massacre of over 7,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica in 1995 during the Bosnian war.

Prosecutor Dermot Groome said the prosecution would present evidence showing “beyond a reasonable doubt the hand of Mr. Mladic in each of these crimes”.

“The world watched in disbelief that in neighborhoods and villages within Europe a genocide appeared to be in progress,” said Groome, describing the beginning of the war in 1992.

“By the time Mladic and his troops murdered thousands in Srebrenica … they were well-rehearsed in the craft of murder,” Groome told the court.

Older but defiant

Dressed in a dark grey suit and dark tie, Mladic, now 70, flashed a thumbs-up and clapped his hands as he entered the courtroom in The Hague.

In the packed public seating area, a mother of one of the Srebrenica victims whispered “vulture” several times as prosecutors opened their case.

Later, Mladic made eye contact with one of the Muslim women in the audience, running a hand across his throat, in a gesture that led Presiding judge Alphons Orie to hold a brief recess and order an end to “inappropriate interactions.”

“Ratko Mladic is clearly not the stocky, physically imposing, bullish man that we remember from images of the early ’90s,” Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips reported from The Hague.

Phillips added, however, that even with his age, the general remained as defiant as ever.

“You could really sense his contempt for this court, which he calls the ‘NATO’ court,” he said.

Axel Hagedorn, a lawyer for many of the mothers of those killed in Srebrenica, said that many of his clients had travelled to The Hague, where they were relieved to finally see Mladic stand trial.

“I think he looks much more healthy than last year, when he appeared, that is good for us, because we hope that he can survive this trial and face imprisonment,” he said.

The Mladic trial would also help build a separate case by the Srebrenica families against the United Nations, he said.

In April, the Dutch Supreme Courht ruled that the UN could not be prosecuted in the Netherlands for failing to prevent genocide in Srebrenica, but the families’ lawyers plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

“This case is very linked to our case, on the failure of the United Nations to protect the people of Srebrenica,” Hagedorn said.

There are concerns that Mladic’s trial could be disrupted by the defendant’s poor health. He is believed to have suffered at least one stroke while in hiding and was admitted to hospital for pneumonia last October.

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, died of a heart attack in detention in 2006 before a verdict in his trial could be reached.

‘Biggest butcher’

Outside, protesters held up placards including one that said “we want justice for the victims of Srebrenica”.

Mladic, who was arrested in a village in northern Serbia last May, is also charged over the 44-month siege of Sarajevo during which more than 10,000 people died.

Mladic has refused to enter a plea and rejected the charges against him as “monstrous” and “obnoxious” in a preliminary hearing last June. He says he was defending his country and his people as leader of the Bosnian Serb army. The court entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf.

He is the last of the main protagonists involved in the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia to go on trial in front of the special court established by the United Nations to prosecute crimes committed during the conflicts.

“This is the biggest butcher of the Balkans and the world,” Munira Subasic, 65, told the AFP news agency. She lost 22 relatives to Bosnian Serb military forces when Srebrenica was overrun in July 1995.

“I’ll look into his eyes and ask him if he repents,” said Subasic, who said she would watch the trial’s opening from the public gallery at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The case has stirred up deep emotions in the Balkans and Wednesday’s proceedings were broadcast live on big screens in Sarajevo, where thousands died between 1992 and 1995.

“I hope that many of those who are disillusioned and believe that Mladic is a Serb hero will change their minds, and that the trial will demonstrate that he was just a criminal and a coward,” Fikret Grabovica, president of the association of parents and children killed in the siege of Sarajevo, said.

“Even if Mladic lives until the verdict, it will bring only mild satisfaction for the victims of Srebrenica and hundreds of other places in the Serb Republic,” Grabovica added, referring to the entity that rules Serb majority areas of Bosnia.

‘Not satisfied’

Since the end of the war, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been divided into a federation of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and the Serb Republic.

Mladic’s lawyers last week attempted to have the trial pushed back as the court pondered their request to have presiding judge Alphons Orie removed from the bench. They had argued that Orie would be biased against Mladic because he had already condemned several of his former subordinates.

But Theodor Meron, the president of the court, denied the request.

“I am not satisfied that Mladic has demonstrated that a reasonable observer … would reasonably apprehend bias. I accordingly find Mladic’s request for Judge Orie’s disqualification to be unmeritorious,” he said in a statement.

Mladic is being held in the same prison as his former political leader Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in 2008 and is now about halfway through his trial on similar charges to Mladic.

Mladic’s lawyers on Monday night filed another request to have the trial adjourned for six months, saying they had not had enough time to prepare, due to “errors” by the prosecution in disclosing documents.

Groome said on Wednesday he would not oppose a “reasonable adjournment”.