The adjournment of the Wilders trial begins to be noticed

(Note, Feb. 9, 2:30 p.m.: a reader comments on Pamela Geller’s tendency to be selective with certain types of information.)

(Note: It turns out that the court decision, posted at GoV on February 3, included, along with other information, the announcement that the trial would be postponed, but no one writing about the trial noticed this or mentioned it until now.)

Finally, on the evening of February 6, one of the “establishment” anti-Islamization websites, Atlas Shrugs, has published the news that the Geert Wilders trial, on the same day that it began, February 3, was adjourned for as much as nine months. That information was originally posted at VFR on the night of February 4-5, sent to me by Dutch blogger Snouck Hurgronje, who had seen the judges make the announcement on the Dutch TV broadcast of the trial on February 3. On the evening of February 4 I had expressed my surprise that there had been no news about the trial’s second day, February 4, and Snouck’s e-mail later that night was written in reply to my query. Geller gets her information from Snouck’s blog, which reprinted my lengthy exchange with Snouck at VFR (though Geller, in keeping with my Emmanuel Goldstein-like status in the minds of the Geller-Spencer circle, edits out any reference to me in her quotation of Snouck’s e-mails to me.).

Also, Paul Belien told Pamela Geller:

it may even be longer than nine months. I think the Dutch authorities, fearing that Wilders might electorally benefit from a conviction, try to postpone the trial until after the next general elections (which are normally due in the Spring of 2011, but will probably be held in the Fall of this year). Nobody knows when the trial will start again. That is entirely up to the court—which serves the interests of the Dutch political establishment.
- end of initial entry -

Diana West writes:

Just fyi on the trial schedule: GoV posted about the indefinite postponement after the second day was over:

LA replies:

Thanks for noticing the mention of the postponement in the text of the court decision . This is the first time—five days after it was posted—that anyone has said anything about this. The announcement of the postpostment is made in a very understated form at the very end of the decision in which several other matters, including the number of witnesses that Wilders can call, are discussed, but also some procedural matters that the general reader is not going to pay attention to and therefore would likely stop reading the decision before he comes to the end. I had looked a few times through GoV’s coverage of the trial last week and missed it. GoV printed the text of this statement without GoV itself saying, “The trial has been postponed.” So GoV itself either didn’t notice, or didn’t think it was worth mentioning, that the trial had been postponed. No one else noticed this noticed this statement in the decision and said, “The trial has been postponed.” The two commenters after the entry do not mention that the trial has been postponted.

Also the information here is different from what Snouck Hurgronje heard on the TV broadcast of the trial and told me about; he heard the judge say that trial had been adjourned until sometime between June and October 31. The text of the court decision speaks only of a postpostment for an indefinite period of time, not of an adjournment of up to nine months.

Here is the entire GoV entry with the court decision:

Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Text of the Court’s Decision
by Baron Bodissey

Below is the text of the Amsterdam court’s decision (from the court website), as translated by VH:

Decisions directional session Wilders

Amsterdam, February 3, 2010—In the criminal case against Wilders at the request of the defense three experts on the Islam and the Quran will be heard by the examining magistrate. The application of the Public Ministry that Wilders be heard by the examining magistrate is rejected. The handling of the content of the case will take place later this year.

At the directional meeting on January 20 the counsel of Geert Wilders presented a preliminary defense and put in place research demands.

The court has first determined that the Amsterdam Court has jurisdiction to handle the Wilders trial and that Wilders may be prosecuted.

The court has commissioned the examining magistrate to hear three experts in the field of Islam and the Koran. These experts are Mr. J.J.G. Jansen, Mr. S.R. Admiraal and Mrs. W. Sultan. The request to hear so-called experience experts in the field of Islam is rejected. According to the court the defense has made not made sufficiently clear what they might add to the trial. The court will also not hear the suggested legal experts, because the defense has enough additional options to present its legal views to the court.


The Public Prosecutor has requested that Wilders be heard by an examining magistrate. That request was rejected partly because Wilders will be questioned later in public in court.

The case is referred to the investigating magistrate to hear the three experts on Islam. At this time, it cannot yet be determined when the experts can be heard. The case is therefore postponed for an indefinite time. At a later time the court will determine the dates for the content handling.

LJ Number BL1868

February 9

Tim writes:

I have noticed that Pamela Geller tends to be selective with certain types of information, only including that which fits her agenda. It’s one reason, of a number, why I’m not going back there again.

LA replies:

A few months ago, I sent a conciliatory e-mail to Geller, and in reply she reiterated her view that I am as bad as Charles Johnson. So that’s where she’s coming from regarding me. I am the enemy. That’s why she had to edit out any reference to me, even when quoting an exchange that came from my blog and in which I was one of the two participants!

The ironic thing is, the people who are most concerned about avoiding “divisions within the ranks” are the people who most create divisions.

Tim replies:

As bad as Charles Johnson? Well, firstly, one of the major distinctions between you is that you are clearly intelligent, a quality I would not ascribe to CJ. Secondly, your articles are original and well thought-out. Again there is no comparison with CJs website. Thirdly, if you make a mistake in an article you man up and admit it/correct it. So unless all she really means is that you have criticized her for something I fail to see how Pamela could make such a comparison. [LA replies: What she holds against me is my criticisms of Robert Spencer, which in her mind make me as bad as Johnson.]

My main gripe with her is that she seems to have a rather anti-British agenda. What I mean is that, like a lot of Jewish people although not all, she likes to blame the British for anything and everything bad that has happened to Jewish people for the entire twentieth century, to the extent that if there is information about the British that shows them in a good light she tends to leave that out of her articles. Whether she likes it or not the British/English have done a lot for Jewish people and I think of Disraeli (elected twice), Kindertransport, Sir Nicholas Winton, Frank Foley working for MI6 and so on.

For example, last year she reported on the U.N. speeches and that during President of Iran’s very anti-Semitic speech the French and American delegations walked out in disgust. I politely pointed out in her comments section that the news source reported that the British delegation had also walked out. But she ignored me, nor did she correct her article. There have been other articles too. The trouble is that amateur historians think of history in terms of black and white, whereas qualified historians know that there are many varying shades of grey even, dare I say it at the risk of people calling me anti-Semitic, the behaviour of the Jewish people in Israel during WW2. Rabbi Weissmandel also had a few things to say on this matter.

I have always been pro-Jewish, and pro-Israel, yet I have read the English described as beneath contempt, barbaric, sub-human that don’t deserve to live etc … by the very people that cry anti-Semitism, Jewish people. I have even written to Melanie Philips about this, as it seems both hypocritical and flagging enormous double-standards, hoping to engage in debate about it. But whether for legal reasons or whatever she refused to talk about it at all.

I guess that in Pamela’s eyes I am probably the enemy also, lol.

LA replies:

I have never noticed any particular Jewish hostility toward the British, apart, of course, from the historical criticisms of Britain’s handling of the Palestine Mandate. I think Britain is broadly recognized as a country with a historical tradition going back to the 17th century of welcoming and tolerating Jews.

Of course it was British leaders’ friendship with Chaim Weitzman that was instrumental in the Balfour Declaration.

Jews have a standing undercurrent of fear/suspicion of white gentiles, based on historic anti-Semitism. I am not aware that they have more of that fear toward the British than toward other white nations.

February 10

Tim replies to LA:

I guess I was close then, lol. She and Robert are very close knit and any criticism of him would naturally have her defending him and friends do stick together.

And in all fairness, saying that you haven’t experienced or seen any Jewish hostility towards the British would be a little like a white man telling a black man that he’d never experienced prejudice against him because of his colour. Here’s a quote made by, I can only assume, a Jewish person :

I challenge anyone to take a walk through Yad Vashem and come out of there not hating the British. 2006 and the British is still trying to block arms to Israel. In 60 years, NOTHING has changed. Dear anti-Semites of the world, Die, already. [LA replies: A quote from an unknown nobody is not evidence of anything significant.]

Plenty more like that around. Take a look at Frank Foley’s biography and you’ll see that it took more than forty years for the Israelis to accept the man’s heroic status, and it took that long because he was English and for no other reason. Here’s a quote from the auther:

But such was the feeling against the British at the time that few were willing to believe an Englishman might have helped to save Jews. Hubert Pollack was particularly vociferous in his complaints against the state for its failure to act. In a letter to Teddy Kollek, then intelligence adviser to David Ben Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister, Pollack said the authorities were behaving like ‘a bunch of beggars’.

But open and free discussion is what generates ideas and possible solutions, and people that desire the truth in all things have to accept the fact that the truth might not always reflect well on a person or group that is favoured. Like I said before, varying shades of greys. Nothing is so black and white.

For example, with regards the British in the Palestinian Mandate I fully accept and agree that the British Govt could have done better, and the Atlee government after WW2 was quite incompetent. If a government is not even going to think twice about breaking its promises to its own people then it isn’t going to give a second thought to others really is it? But the Attlee government was booted out at the next election and Churchill re-elected.

However the Israelis must accept the fact that they were not exactly angels either during this period. I have read some of Churchill’s papers, personal accounts of the British troops that served in Palestine during that time, some of Rabbi Weissmandl’s writings including the ten questions he posed to the Jewish authorities, and none of it is pretty reading. For example, as staunchly pro-Israel as he was, even Churchill had a gut full and is quoted as saying, in response to American shouting about Palestine:

If the Americans were so unhappy about the way Britain was handling Palestine, the best solution would be for them to take the job over themselves, I’m not aware that Britain has to vaunt about this painful and thankless task, and someone else should have their turn and the sooner the better.

I would add another question to the ten posed by Rabbi Weissmandl. ‘Is it true that during WW2 the Stern gang tried to cut a deal with Hitler and fight against the British and for the Axis powers in return for the recognition of a national Jewish State?’ How well do you think that information went down with the Allies?

Personally I would rather let bygones be bygones, but I am not going to sit here and let people attack my people simply because of our race, and the work of amateur historians who think they know it all. Incidentally, something I rarely mention but to forestall accusations of anti-Semitism by some people, I have French-Jewish ancestry on my mothers side. If we are all desirous of the truth, and claim to speak the truth, then we must fight against hypocrisy and double-standards.

LA replies:

Your comment was written to back up your earlier comment, which I rejected, in which you said:

I have always been pro-Jewish, and pro-Israel, yet I have read the English described as beneath contempt, barbaric, sub-human that don’t deserve to live etc … by the very people that cry anti-Semitism, Jewish people.

You have not provided any evidence that backs up the notion of some generalized Jewish contempt for the English. I have posted your comment only to show how weak such charges against Jews so often turn out to be.

James H. writes:

Re Atlas Shrugs, I know it must hurt not to get credit for your ideas at Atlas Shrugged and other sites. But, let’s be honest; under the liberal regime, you are considered notorious.

I am confident that there will come a time when you will be openly appreciated and you will receive credit for your ideas.

I gladly plead guilty to putting out there many of your ideas. But you must understand how hazardous it is to suggest that for example; fair housing laws are a farce and the very premise of these laws is wrong. As a black man, I fear for my physical safety saying this and I live in a neighborhood that is ninety percent black-The other ten percent was not done by fair housing laws.

LA replies:

Thank you very much for your supportive comments.

However, to clear up any misunderstanding, I wasn’t saying that to express hurt. First, I was reporting a fact. Second, I was pointing out the humor and absurdity of Pamela’s Geller’s behavior, that she’s so “agin” me that she goes out of her way to avoid making a reference to my name.

Over and over, I’ve noticed how people read more into a statement than is there. For example, I will write, “So and so has criticized me on such and such issue.” A blogger will then say, “There goes Auster, complaining again about people attacking him.” In reality, I was not complaining about anything, I was reporting the fact that So and so was criticizing me on such and such issue. But people tend to be so “personalistic” nowadays that they cannot grasp that the simple statement, “So and so is criticizing me” is simply intended (or at least in my case is simply intended) as a statement of fact about the ongoing discussion, not as a complaint.

This is not a minor problem. The personalistic attitude I’ve described precludes the possibility of any objective or fairminded accounting by oneself of a discussion or disagreement in which one is involved. It is a symptom of the general decline of our society’s ability and willingness to engage in rational discussion. Part of such discussion is that you try to look at your own point of view objectively, as one point of view among others in the discussion as a whole.

And by the way, when I complain about something, I complain about it. It doesn’t have to be read between the lines.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 08, 2010 01:52 AM | Send

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