Dutch Jewish group condemns Wilders film

The newly-released anti-Islam film by right-wing Dutch legislator Geert Wilders drew condemnations from the Netherlands’ Central Jewish Board, which Friday called the film’s focus on anti-Jewish preachings by Muslims “counterproductive” and “generalizing.”

In keeping with Wilders’ belief in a Judeo-Christian partnership in the face of “the threat of Islam,” the 15-minute film, entitled “Fitna” – Arabic for strife – shows clerics calling to behead Jews, Koran passages equating Jews to “apes and swines” and photos of demonstrators promising “another Holocaust” and praising Adolf Hitler.

In a statement following the film’s online release, the board said that Wilders – the leader of the Party for Freedom – was guilty of serious generalizations. “Wilders presented demographics on the increase of Muslims in Europe with pictures from scenes of terrorist attacks, suggesting all Muslims are potential terrorists,” head of the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, Dr. Ronny Naftaniel, Saturday told Haaretz.

While the anti-Semitic material Wilders compiled “demonstrates some Muslims have terrible ideas about Jews,” the way Fitna portrays reality serves to “polarize Dutch society,” the board said, adding this was counterproductive to the fight against extremism.

Haaretz, 30 March 2008