General Antisemitism

Dutch Daily: “Chosen People have to be perfect” (Israeli prenatal care framed in Nazi eugenic terms)


This was written by Yochanan Visser of Missing Peace, and cross posted at HonestReporting.

Last week the Dutch Christian daily ‘Trouw’ reached a new low when it published a vicious article about prenatal care in Israel entitled: “The chosen people have to be perfect”.

The writer, Ilse van Heusden, gave birth to a healthy baby boy while temporarily living in Israel.

She succeeded in portraying the prenatal care in Israel as a government instigated ‘military operation’ aimed at the production of babies as perfect as possible.

Apart from distortions and lies the article contained many accusations and insinuations which are reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic rants.

Requests

After the publication of the article we contacted ‘Trouw’ with a request to allow the publication of an op-ed in which we could debunk the false claims and lies in Van Heusden’s article.

‘Trouw’ did not even bother to respond, nor did the editors respond to a similar request by the Dutch branch of the Likud party.

Examples

Here is a prime example of the anti-Semitic content of the article:

Van Heusden:

To be pregnant in Israel is comparable to a military operation. Countless echos and blood tests should produce the perfect baby, nothing can be left to the luck of the draw. The state demands healthy babies and a lot of them too.

This was later followed by an outrageous lie about child allowances in Israel.

Van Heusden:

What makes things even more emotionally charged is the Israeli demand to produce many children. The state promotes the birth of children by supplying, among other things, a considerable child allowance.

To support these outrageous claims, she misused a quote made by former Minister of the Interior Shlomo Benizri in 2002. At the time Benizri declared: “the fear of losing Israel’s unique character obligates us to take action so as not to become a minority in our own country.”

Of course Van Heusden knew very well that Benizri was not talking about more Jewish babies, but about the influx of illegal immigrants and foreign workers.

She then suggested that the way Israel promotes having children is comparable to Arafat’s policy of using the womb of Palestinian women as a weapon.

Child allowance

It is of course a lie that Israel ‘demands’ many or ‘perfect’ babies. The state does not interfere in the decision to have children; that is something Israelis decide for themselves.

It is also a lie that the state promotes child birth with considerable child allowances.

In fact, since 2002, the Israeli government has considerably reduced the level of child allowances. This reduction rose to as high as 70% for a family with 8 children.

An average child now receives 35 Euros ($44) per month.

That is far below the Netherlands where child allowance is an average of 120 Euro ($152) per month for children born before 1995, and roughly 75 Euro ($95) for children born since then.

Furthermore, this summer thousands of Israelis demonstrated against the fact that parents themselves had to pay for daycare of their children up till the age of five years (The Israeli government recently reduced the age to three years).

Racist state

After writing that she was diagnosed with the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) virus and as a result was requested to conduct an additional test, Van Heusden exclaimed:

I was surprised about the spasmodic attitude about this test and the previous one. After all children are loved and honored here and Israel is a paradise when it comes to having children … But the flipside of the story is that having children is a demand and a discussion about that demand is not possible.

In actual fact, the prenatal program in Israel consists of recommendations only; a woman can refuse to conduct any test at all stages of pregnancy.

Van Heusden then compared the Israeli prenatal care to the Dutch system which she holds in high esteem:

Every time I had to undergo such a test (diabetes blood test) it caused distress. In the Netherlands my first pregnancy was without problems and it was dealt with by the obstetrician accordingly. I was boring but ‘boring was good’, explained the obstetrician.

I am healthy and not in the category of the Ashkenazi Jews … yet I had to experience twelve echo tests and four blood tests”.

Writing about the birth of her son Van Heusden said:

finally we held this little baby boy in our arms that went through all those tests. When we admired his little fingers and toes we saw that one of his toes was too small. His personal revenge on the Israeli health system.

It is obvious that Van Heusden twisted everything that was done to safeguard her health and that of her child into an attempt to prove that Israel is a racist state which has a system to produce perfect babies.

Her claims are so outrageous that rebuttal seems beyond the pale.

Basic facts

However to understand the viciousness of the claims in her article it is nevertheless useful to provide some basic facts about Israeli prenatal care and the health system in general.

First of all, prenatal care in Israel is organized according to World Health Organization recommendations and is now on a higher level than that in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, Van Leusden was diagnosed with the CMV virus, which is the sole explanation for the many tests she had to undergo. In her article she admits that CMV can cause severe damage to the fetus.

Several Israeli women wrote us that on an average, 4 to 5 echo (ultrasound) tests are usual and not 12 as in the case of Van Leusden. Another woman from northern Israel claimed that her twins owed their lives to these echo tests.

Van Leusden’s criticism about the diabetes blood test is completely unjustified. This test – standard procedure in all modern medical systems – is designed to detect gestational diabetes; a disorder which can have serious and even fatal consequences for mother and child.

Mortality rate

Through this type of advanced prenatal care, Israel has managed over the last 35 years to reduce the infant mortality rate by almost 70% (24.6 per 1000 infants in 1973 compared to 3.8 per 1000 in 2008).

A similar figure was reached among the Arab population in Gaza and the West Bank (now the lowest in the entire Middle East: 11 per 1000 compared to 58 in 1968 and 61 in Iraq nowadays).

It is also the reason Israel now has a lower infant mortality rate than the Netherlands, which has one of the worst rates in Western Europe.

High quality care

The high quality of Israeli health care is in part due to prevention programs such as prenatal care. There are nationwide population examinations for breast and colon cancer. Blood tests are almost standard during visits to a doctor.

As a result people are living longer (81.6 years in Israel compared with an average of 79.5 in the OECD). Israel has one of the highest cancer survival rates in the world (84% breast cancer survival rate in 2009). The same applies to the survival rate after a stroke (CVA) and Myocardial Infarction.

All this was achieved with a health budget which is approximately 60% lower than in the Netherlands ($2,165 per person per year compared with $5144 in the Netherlands) and a number of hospital beds that is far below the OECD average (2 per 1000 compared with 3.5 in OECD countries).

Eugenics

Of course all of this data was also at Van Heusden’s disposal.

However, she chose to write a libelous article where care for an unborn child in Israel was deliberately presented as a military operation and as a political weapon born out racist motives.

When an Israeli caretaker finally had enough of her complaints about the excellent prenatal care in Israel and made a sarcastic joke about the need for ‘the chosen people to be perfect’, she used it to make her point.

One ‘Trouw’ reader summarized the article as follows:

Subtle article by the way, it even manages to bring good infant care in Israel in the vicinity of “eugenics” and thus comparing it to Nazism.

Indeed such articles can normally be found on the websites of white supremacists such as David Duke or on anti-Semitic sites such as Jew Watch.

The fact that a Dutch Christian mainstream paper published it should sound alarms in The Netherlands.

The paper should issue an apology and dissociate itself from writers like Ilse van Heusden.

(Trouw’s article deserves to be exposed to a wider non-Dutch speaking audience. Here’s your chance to let Trouw know how appalling this is. Send your considered comments to Trouw’s editorial team – redactie@trouw.nl)

113 replies »

  1. As a Christian, and based on the veracity of your report, Trouw should be ashamed of themselves. I’m English and had for a long time regarded the Netherlands as a highly civilised nation. However, there have been several instances over the past several years that have caused me to rethink my opinion of the Dutch.

  2. Holy…what?

    Seriously, I thought I had heard almost everything that Israel could be accused of, but ‘they provide excellent prenatal care, those sneaky fascists’ is a new one.

  3. email I sent:

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Ilse van Heusden is deeply racist against Jews and you must apologise for it and withdraw it.

    http://honestreporting.com/dutch-daily-the-chosen-people-have-to-be-perfect/

    “Honest Reporting” sets out why the article is deeply anti-Semitic.

    It seems that nothing has changed among Dutch Christians since the collaboration with the Nazis resulting in the betrayal of Anne Frank and her family and of other Jews. All in all 75% of the Jewish population of the Netherlands died at the hands of the Nazis and Dutch collaborators.

    Van Heusden’s article is full of antisemitic lies, distortions and plain lies and one has to feel sorry for a child growing up with this unrepentant Nazi as a mother. I recommend that if she returns to the Netherlands – and let’s hope she does – the child is taken into care.

    How lucky she was to have given birth in Israel – a country with a significantly lower infant mortality rate than the Netherlands (2005-10 average), which has one of the worst rates in Western Europe – only the UK, Portugal and Greece have higher mortality.

    I hope that van Heusden never needs Israel medical technology herself or a Jewish doctor – I am sure that she would not wish to be reliant on Israel medical technology which her twisted little (?empty?) mind seems to believe is a branch of Nazi-style eugenics.

    Sincerely
    Jonathan Hoffman
    London, England

    • Eight thumbs-up for what many people here would designate a “libel” – but only if made against Israelis or Jews.

      Come on – who are those individuals?

        • I do. But a lot of people throwing the term around liberally on this site don’t. Why don’t you challenge them?

          And how is your link relevant? Hoffman made a sweeping statement about all Dutch Christians. You seem to have no problem with that. Why aren’t I surprised?

          • All prejudice is bad, but there is no history of genocide against Christians by Jews. Europeans have a special obligation not to indulge in antisemitism because of their history.
            Dutch Christians are in no danger from Jonathan Hoffman, but the enemies of Israel, including supposedly progressive Europeans, are laying the ground work for the destruction of Israel and a second Holocaust by the constant vilification of the Jewish state and the Jews.
            That is why this article is more egregious than the venting of Jonathan Hoffman’s spleen.

            • Though I agree with what you mean, I´d like to observe that your statement

              “All prejudice is bad,”

              is one of those “sweeping generalizations” that people do all the time, because that´s part of our cognitive apparatus. Without *some* generalization one do without as the world is obviously made of particulars, which we simplify on purpose so that we can cope with its staggering diversity.

              Moreover, your statement is wrong. Not all prejudice is bad. Everybody has some prejudices, which are part of each person´s individuality. I have a prejudice against religious or sanctimonious moralists preaching over me. I am equally prejudiced against islamism and left-wing hypocrisy and lies. I am prejudiced against pseudo-sciences such as psychoanalysis, astrology and homeopathy. But I tolerate these people and their right to espouse cranky nonsense, within the limits of the law.

              • I meant, one can´t do without doing some generalizations to cope with the world. Of course, one must be open to change one´s mind when confronted with relevant & reliable evidence.

              • And I don’t notice a reference to all Dutch Christians

                I said “sweeping statement”. You are seriously claiming that JH’s words “nothing has changed among Dutch Christians since the collaboration with the Nazis” do not constitute a sweeping statement?

          • More hilarity! Given that a lot of people on this website do throw the term “libel” around liberally, it’s hardly a sweeping statement!

            Why don’t you or Snigger ever challenge them? It’s you who are the hypocrites here. As for the clapping monkeys – they can’t help their behaviour, I suppose.

            • So, you are allowed to make your “sweeping statements” with impunity while whining about others doing the same? So hypocritical. So typical that you deserve a loud SHAME ON YOU.

              • So, you are allowed to make your “sweeping statements” with impunity while whining about others doing the same?

                Bizarre.
                Hoffman made a sweeping statement about Dutch Christians (several million people), whereas I simply referred to “a lot of people on this website” (about a dozen).

                You know you’re in the wrong. Why not just admit it?

      • On the contrary Pretzel, this vicious woman likes the idea of her baby ‘taking revenge’ on an aspect of the Jewish state that is designed to give and nurture life. Perhaps the same kind of vengeance that would make her proud that her grandfather did his bit to extinguish Jewish life in Holland by packing them off to Sobibor. Where is your disgust for this woman? Has your morality become that degraded that you find it acceptable for Europeans to once again vent their spleen against the Jewish enemy and parade their pride in seeking vengeance against them?

        • My take is that pretzle embraces that brand of pseudo-universal abstract humanitarianism, in which war is always bad, even when in self-defense, and the worst perpetrator is to be treated with the same concern as his victims. It´s very like those well-meaning pacifists of the 1930´s that ended up acting like enablers and appeasers to the worst evils of nazi-fascism and communism.

          • My take is that pretzle … in which war is always bad, even when in self-defense, and the worst perpetrator is to be treated with the same concern as his victims.

            You are specutacularly and hilariously wrong. But you knew that, didn’t you?

            Just a pathetic attempt to slur me.

            It´s very like those well-meaning pacifists of the 1930´s that ended up acting like enablers and appeasers to the worst evils of nazi-fascism

            If you had a shred of decency in you, you’d apologise for that disgraceful remark and refrain from such in the future. Go on – surprise me.

        • If you’d bothered to read my comment from January 15, 2012 at 8:05 am, you’d know you’re talking nonsense.

          Has your morality become that degraded that you find it acceptable for Europeans to once again vent their spleen against the Jewish enemy

          Shame on you.
          You know full well you’re talking bullshit.

          You may apologise for your disgusting suggestions about my character. Or you might want to leave this site altogether.

          • Yes. And political-correctness demands that you should not use such “sweeping generalizations” about Europeans for, as we all know, not every single European harbor ill feelings against the Jews, no matter the 2000 years-old history of European anti-Semitism.

            But, of course SOME europeans can publish rants about “chosen people” as they think themselves so enlightened and superior, far above and beyond such primitive tribalisms. Except of course when the Roma disturb their views or when those bankrupt Greeks want more help.

          • Go cry to your mom.

            I take back what I said recently – you are indeed on the same juvenile level as mostly harmless.

        • Perhaps the same kind of vengeance that would make her proud that her grandfather did his bit to extinguish Jewish life in Holland by packing them off to Sobibor.

          WTF? Where on earth did you get that from?

          LIBEL! LIBEL!

          • Well, consider this Pretzel. If an article had been written like this Dutch one 40 years ago, the normal reaction would have been – why has this woman got such a problem with the Jewish state, this unhealthy reaction to the care she received is symptomatic of someone who has serious problems with Jews – even when they are delivering babies. Now, European political culture and the morality it espouses has degraded to the extent that such bigotry and malice is hardly noticed in mainstream circles. Hoffman’s reply to it is far more provocative? That’s a moral inversion.

    • Why disgusting? Are you seriously trying to argue that no Dutch collaborated with the Nazis?

      Are you in denial because the fact that many did makes you uncomfortable?

      Come here with links which prove that none or few did.

      • Are you seriously trying to argue that no Dutch collaborated with the Nazis?

        Of course not. Where on earth did you get that nonsense from?

        Are you in denial because the fact that many did makes you uncomfortable?

        Why? I’m neither Dutch nor Christian.

        Come here with links which prove that none or few did.

        Strange how you don’t challenge the bigotry of Hoffmann. Given his sweeping statement, the onus is obviously on him to prove his slander.

          • ‘I think you are being a little naive in thinking that rational debate can work in persuading people with deep emotional hatreds.’

            You mean irrational debate works better?

            ‘Moreover, it´s usually europeans…So, it is quite natural and healthy to remind europeans that they are not moral paragons and don´t have much credibility to pontificate other people, particularly Jews.’

            You assume, assert, imply most Europeans are impervious to reason, which is not a little racist in itself. You conflate most Dutch Christians with this (rather nasty) lady, most Europeans with Dutch Christians, which is the same.

            This is a very intellectually deficient way of looking at, and speaking to, the world.

            • I assume none of those arguing with you had a problem with Diane Abbott’s tweet, Conchovor. Completely agree about rational debate. After coming to some preliminary conclusions about anti-Israelism, I found that the more the more I read and thought about the issue (and antisemitism, and the relationship between the two) the more I understood people’s concerns about these issues. This involved acquiring information (about antisemitic tropes) and considering the logic of the arguments used by those on both, or all, sides. The Trouw story seems straightforwardly nasty – it’s not too difficult to demonstrate why. There’s NO NEED to make sweeping comments about the Dutch, or Europeans, or Christians. It’s hardly an approach likely to win over Dutch Christians.

      • ‘Are you seriously trying to argue that no Dutch collaborated with the Nazis?’

        That’s a typical CIFWatcher non sequitur, unfortunately. Pretzel objected to most or all Dutch Christians being indicted by JH’s insinuation; likewise gratuitously raising the issue of Dutch collaboration with the Nazis 70 years ago.

        If you are interested in persuading real people, in the real world (as opposed to simply having a mutually satisfying rant on CIFWatch), you have to learn what ways are effective and what are not.

        Trying to guilt people with the past into not forming opinions about the present is always a mistake. It’s human nature. Likewise simply shouting insulting epithets at them, like ‘Nazi’, without qualification or a very well argued case before hand.

        This is good for a street ‘debate’, which is just short of a brawl, but hardly effective if you want to persuade the most people possible.

        • I think you are being a little naive in thinking that rational debate can work in persuading people with deep emotional hatreds. Moreover, it´s usually europeans themselves that bring up the nazi-card in their supposedly objective “criticism of Israeli policies”. It´s clear that this is a grotesque and perverse attempt to hurt Jews and to assuage their ill-digested guilt regardiing their recent exterminationist past (and the whole history of european anti-Semitism), So, it is quite natural and healthy to remind europeans that they are not moral paragons and don´t have much credibility to pontificate other people, particularly Jews.

        • “That’s a typical CIFWatcher non sequitur, unfortunately. ” conchovor

          Isn´t that yet another “sweeping generalization”? Just asking.

    • Mr Haffman, I have a huge admiration for you.

      But asking for an apology that you know you’re not gonna get and the one that you actually do not get, well, makes you look a bit silly.

      I have seen this many times, even on internet message boards people asking for an apology as if they’re ever gonna get one.

      Good letter though and full marks for it.

    • ‘It seems that nothing has changed among Dutch Christians since’

      The newspaper article is (extremely) disgusting, but I don’t think it was necessary to raise the issue of the Holocaust, at least not at the outset; let alone to move from that to indict all Dutch Christians. Calling the author a Nazi, without qualification, is also silly. It is possible to be an antisemite without being a Nazi; at least not before demonstrating how the article is antisemitic (not hard to do).

      Raising the past, especially at the outset, looks like you are trying to guilt people into not forming opinions about the present, to which people always react badly. It is especially mistaken to +start+ the letter with that, before calmly and rationally explain why the article is antisemitic, and why it is unacceptable.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think it is especially disgusting such an article be published given a Dutch collaboration with Nazi liquidation of Dutch Jews. And the author’s clear attempt to equate Israeli infant care with Nazi eugenics is quite evil. But better to explain +why+ or +how+ it is evil, and to say it is evil, rather than merely shout out ‘Nazi’, or ex nihilo raise the past.

      I do not think this an effective way of arguing, or persuading people. Nobody reacts well to merely having insulting epithets shouted at them, whether in the street, or in a letter.

  4. I thought it was a bit of a satire. I don’t see anything anti-semitic in this article. And I am totally on your side,

    • Ruth, I considered that as well- the possibility that it was a satire, but I’m afraid that if she meant to be satirical her effort fell flat. It seems easy to find out- just have someone (not necessarily an Israeli) ask her.

    • The use of the term “chosen people” in a way to characterize Jews as believing themselves to be racially superior is antisemitic, as Jewish theology posits chosenness as referring to chosen for additional responsibility. It has nothing to do with physical or moral superiority. The countless Biblical stories detailing the failings of the forefathers and foremothers and figures such as David attest to that.

        • So what? Some Chinese think they are the center of the world. Lots of muslims think they are superior to everybody else. Same with some europeans.

        • But most do not Ruth, or at least never so many Jews as Muslims who believe themselves to be the chosen of their Allah and say so at every opportunity and get mightily upset if we don’t agree with them.

          Now, they’re also wrong, aren’t they, but would you go onto a blog and argue that they are wrong? Somehow I doubt it.

          • Dude, I approve of this blog but let’s keep our outrage for real cases of antisemitism. To me it is a tongue in cheek article. She is trying to be clever. It is humour. Can’t we laugh at ourselves once in a while?

          • In fact, Jew-haters seem to be the *only* ones disturbed by this “chosen-people” issue. They are the ones that bring it up all the time, as an accusation. Are they jealous? Do they want to convert to Judaism? Do they want to have yet another excuse to hate Jews? Probably all the above.

        • The concept of ‘am sgulah’ has nothing to do with ultrasounds, or with racial supremacy.

          The phrase ‘chosen people’, however, is hurled as a slur by anti-Semites, suggesting that Jews are racial supremacists. It is not a neutral phrase, nor can its bigoted common usage be ignored.

  5. Ilse van Heusden should have mentioned that many Bedouin women from Egyptian Sinai risk serious physical dangers to cross the border to enter Israel when they are pregnant just to avail themselves of the medical care extended to all pregnant women inside Israel, citizens or not.

    What a poisonous article.

  6. What I would still like to know is:

    1. Considering that this woman hates Israel and Jews, what exactly was she doing in Israel in the first place?
    2. Did she actually pay for any of her outstanding pre-natal care, or is she complaining about free healthcare that she received while in Israel?
    3. What sort of editor working for what sort of newspaper would permit such an awful article to be published? I’m not just talking about its hostility to Israel and antisemitism, I’m also referring to its blatant disregard of facts, its bitter and vindictive tone, and its overall illogicality. I’ll admit that an article such as this one wouldn’t seem at all out of place at The Guardian but, of course, that is why there is a CIF Watch. Does Trouw publish this kind of material all the time? Should we be monitoring it more carefully?

    If anyone has any further information I would appreciate a response.

      • Listen, I think JH’s letter should have been better argued and phrased, with less of the ‘Nazis’ and less of the ‘Dutch collaboration with the Holocaust’. People’s usual reaction to your point/s is idiotic and short sighted.

        But this lady’s willful attempt to equate Israel’s infant care with Nazi eugenics is, to me, a fairly conspicuous example of neo-antisemitism, the form that modern antisemitism often to usually takes.

        But I too find CIFWatchers’ way of ‘arguing’ often counterproductive, and little more than shouting at one level of volume.

      • Yeah, how can we possibly know? What evidence to we have (short of a brain scan)? She might equally hate Klingons or Vulcans, who knows?

        • Indeed. Stalin also had this specifc hatred of Jewish doctors but surely no one could ever suspect Stalin was an anti-Semite.

          • Well, if chosen people must be perfect–then, actually, yes. The whole of the people do not live in Israel. It would be irrational to assume, if this Israeli behavior of giving innocent women prenatal care is based on our high-and-mighty concept of ourself as God’s beloved, that we’re not up to it all over the world.

            Probably giving women pre-natal care in New York and Paris, and London, and Tehran…

      • P.S.: I’d still like to know more about this woman and what she was doing in Israel in the first place, if anyone knows. I’d also like to know if she was paying for her health care or if, as I suspect, she is complaining about services she received for free. I think Joseph (see below) has already given me the answer about Trouw and its editorial slant.

        • Samson, see the second of the two links I posted.

          “The Palestine Working Group within the FNV wants the Palestine Solidarity well on the map and keep the primary ABVAKABO. Zie verder het ‘portret’ van de werkgroep via de zoekfunctie. See the “portrait” of the group by searching.”

          Her lying propaganda was posted on that site and it’s BDS and Egged buses. On that occasion.

  7. The corroding effects of hatred are horrifying. This woman was happy that her own child had a slight defect seeing it as a victory over Israel. We can only imagine how happy she would have been had the child been born with a serious physical problem

    • Ditto to Margie. I must also add that this kind of hatred to the level of wishing harm on one’s own children is bread-and-butter common when coming from the Muslims, so to see it expressed by a non-Muslim woman can only mean there’s been some humongous osmosis here. (Yes, I know Jew-haters don’t have to be Muslim; it’s just that this manifestation is more typical of them.)

      I hope for the Dutch’s sake she’s an aberration. If not, then the Islamization of the Netherlands has gone so far that not even a million fingers could plug the dike.

  8. If it was a satire it certainly seems a very ill judged one. It just seemed snarky and sarcastic to me – and offensive. What kind of publication is Trouw exactly – what might it map onto in UK terms?

    • I know that on 31 March, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein.an interview which said that “Palestinian people ” didn’t exist, that they were made up as an excuse to tug at a gullible world’s heartstrings and promote hatred of Israel.

    • This cannot be satire. Had it been, this wretch would not have need to write at such length nor to labour the point about Israel’s alleged need for perfection in her children.

      She has breached the EUMC guidelines* about antisemitism (as has Trouw by not forcing her to apologise) and in particular:

      “…Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

      *(Even mostly harmless has written elsewhere on this blog that the EUMC guidelines are “universally accepted” so they must be very rigorous indeed).

  9. This disgusting piece is revoltingly reminiscent of Victoria Brittain’s vicious false claim that Israel causes “blue baby syndrome” among Palestinian women, which won the CIF Watch 2010 worst Guardian article prize.

  10. She also claims that Israeli health insurance offers unlimited fertitily treatment to women until the age of 45 if they have less than two kids. She also makes repeated references to the high (Jewish) Israeli birthrate.

    Now my Dutch isn’t too hot, but it doesn’t look (as suggested by posters above) like satire too me.

    • If it is satire, what is it satirising? A Dutch inability to see Israeli Jews as anything other than Nazis?

      I don’t think so.

      • For some bizarre reason, it seems a large number of posters here disagree with our dismissal of the satire take. Perhaps they can explain …

        • Pretz, some people will thumbs down your posts because they have your name attached, but careful consideration suggests there is some amiguity to your post.

          You say you don’t think this is satire. I would agree. Your reasonings for reaching that conclusion are unclear, however. Is it because:

          1. Her use of facts and statistics mean it is likely she wanted the article (and the views contained in it) to be taken at face value, and therefore we are right to be outraged by it; or

          2. Because she has provided *some* evidence of policies that *could* be interpreted to support the conclusion that Israel is actively encouraging Israeli Jews to have more children, (but let me make it clear I do not support thtat interpretation) her conclusions are NOT anti-semitic, and are a serious attempt to analyse an actual problem?

          I am sure you will understand if people give you poor feedback if your rationale is the latter rather than the former.

  11. This is unbelievable.
    That woman sees that she and her unborn were looked after according to best possibel health-care standards and concludes that doctors and nurses are involved in some evil fascist-eugenicist plot!. This and her comment about the baby’s toe indicates she also should seek psychiatric treatment a.s.a.p. (but hopefully not at the cost of the Israeli health care system this time – ungrateful b..tch (I don’t normally like to use that word but it seems completely appropriate here).

  12. As a Dutch citizen I can tell you that van Heusden was being serious, if it helps the article in question is now coming under some fire in the Dutch media, as for van Heusden she is a known attention seeker prone to embellishing her stories (could be the Dutch Johan Harri?).

    The bigger concern is that the De Persgroep which own this newspaper also publishes three other Dutch papers which have a combined circulation of 1 million per day, that means 1 in 17 of the Netherlands population is exposed to idiotic articles such as the one highlighted by this site.

    The owner of the De Persgroep is Christian Van Thillo who holds very extreme catholic views and is one of the main participants of the Club van Lotharingen or in English the Circle of Lorraine, which has as its members a range of high profile Benelux business and political figures including the EU President Herman Van Rompuy, who you might be unsurprised to know studied at the same University as Van Thillo (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven).

    • “Attention seeker” eh?

      Lisa, it looks as though you may be on the right path. Perhaps she does need psychiatric help.

      Joseph, once upon a time I would not have worried how many people might read such rubbish but that was when I was young and naive and had a slightly more rosy view of the human potential to know BS when it was being slung at them.

      Unfortunately now I am not so sure that they would recognise it if it shook hands and introduced itself to them as BS.

      What can be done about this, Joseph? One would think that the acquittal of Geert Wilders might have been more educative to such people but evidently not.

  13. It seems to me that this might be an example of a “you-can’t-win-no-matter-what-you-do” set-up.

    This lady (who seemingly is neither Israeli nor Jewish) was provided with very cautious and high-quality obstetric care whilst in Israel. She implies that this says something bad about the country (eugenic obsession with perfect babies, etc). She implies that this level of care is the norm in Israel.

    I suspect that if she had received the same standard of care, but had anecdotal evidence that this was not universal, she would have painted that as evidence that the Israeli state and medical establishment are selective (racially, religiously?) about which women/children they “value”.

    If she had received poor or negligent care, and felt that this was widespread, Israel would have been painted as a barbaric nation merely playing at having first-world pretensions, while actually letting women and children suffer and die.

    If she had received poor care but felt this was an exception to the Israeli norm, she would have played the racism angle again – “gentile” women/kids don’t matter as much to the “chosen people” so she was given a lesser standard of care than a jewish woman would have been.

    Now, there is a genuine controversy about how “medicalized” pregnancy and childbirth should routinely be, and the internet is full of perfectly serious and sincere debate on this, with opposing views being aired. However, if this journalist were merely someone who opposed or felt uncomfortable with an overly “medicalized”, hospital-based model of pregnancy/birth, one feels that she would probably have mentioned other countries with a similar approach, and would NOT have brought the jewish character of Israel into it, or used phrases such as “chosen people”, as this is completely irrelevant to any debate about the best way to manage pregnancy and birth.

    So that really leaves one with the feeling that her purpose *was* in fact to be randomly antisemitic, and to make Israel (uniquely) seem like a creepy, fascistic, Aldous Huxley-esque place.

    • How can one be “randomly” antisemitic? Do you mean “opportunistically”?

      That is, she is an antisemite and needed an ocurrance to use as an outlet, hence this filth?

      I agree with your “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” analysis though. It’s spot on and an often used tactic on CiF.

    • Very astute analysis. Especially how you allowed for the debate on overly medicalized pregnancy. I agree with you– bringing “chosen” into it puts a gratuitous antisemitic spin on the discussion, and therefore makes the whole article an exercise in Israel bashing and Jew bashing.

  14. That dimwitted woman sees that she and her unborn were looked after according to best possibel health-care standards and goes on to conclude that doctors and nurses are involved in some evil fascist-eugenicist plot! This and her comment about the baby’s toe indicates she also should seek psychiatric treatment asap (but hopefully not at the cost of the Israeli health care system this time – ungrateful b..tch (I don’t normally like to use that word but it seems completely appropriate here!)

  15. Hoffman’s comments are not the main, secondary, tertiary, or any other level of importance for this story. While it’s always nice to see lateral thinking when discussing the important main issues raised by the analysis presented here, I think the focus here belongs on the Trouw article and what it means, and any attempts to deflect attention away from the lies/ugliness of that article are unworthy of serious consideration.

    • Except nobody here is making “attempts to deflect attention away from the lies/ugliness of that article” – are they?

    • Criticising the article and criticising the way some have responded to it should not be mutually exclusive.

      In fact, that is the essence of +criticism+: an ability to discern or discriminate, one thing from another.

      Just because Trouw’s article is (quite viciously) antisemitic doesn’t mean that e.g. JH’s argument in his letter was the best made, or even wasn’t counterproductive in some of its parts.

      True friends criticise each other.

  16. I have no problem with the simple fact that I’m a part of the Chosen People,in fact I’m quite proud of it…………….

  17. These Dutch have sown death and destruction in all their colonies,they did nothing to advance the life of the people that they subjugated,they ground these people into dust.

    The Dutch and the British invented apartheid,and the Dutch DID collaborate with the Nazi’s.Though the Dutch did manage to turn it around and made it look like that they actually fought the Germans.

    Strange that this woman would complain about the exceptional treatment that she received,and then turn around and spit into the same plate that she has just eaten from.

    • proud2bnisraeli,

      I think it is rather unfair to make such sweeping statements about the Dutch and our past colonial history, clearly we have much to be ashamed about, however it was not all death and destruction in our former colonies, and I think it is rather extreme of you to make such a claim.

      You make the further claim that apartheid was invented by the Dutch and British, well this is false, it was the South African state which decided to come up with a policy of apartness (which is what the word means), and I am sure you are aware that South Africa had been an independent country since 1909, and that apartheid was implemented in 1948 ironically the same year that the state of Israel was officially declared an independent state.

      Like many occupied countries some Dutch citizens did collaborate with the Nazis, many other Dutch citizens did not, the same is true for most European countries occupied by the Germans, could you claim that if Israel was suddenly taken over by a foreign power that all Israeli citizens would refuse to collaborate?

  18. In Israel every child is precious, no matter to whom it is born. Contrast that with http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/9014282/Afghan-boy-suicide-bombers-tell-how-they-are-brainwashed-into-believing-they-will-survive.html

    Note particularly

    “…Boys are frequently chosen from the madrassas, or Islamic colleges, in Pakistan’s tribal areas, where poor Pashtun families in southern Afghanistan send their sons for a free education.

    “They send them because they can’t feed them sometimes. They have 10 sons, they can’t feed them,” said the Afghan official. (emphasis added)

    “Gul Khan, who looks no older than 10, said his father had insisted he go to a madrassa in Pakistan run by a man called Maulawi Sher Jan.

    “Each day they were preaching that we would tie bombs on to our bodies and attack foreigners in Afghanistan,” he said after escaping and being arrested on the border.

    “They told us the bombs would not kill us, only the Americans would die and you can come back to us.”

    Many of the captured boys have been pardoned, but others remain in Afghanistan’s child jails…”

    Yes. There are child jails in Afghanistan

  19. I am highly offended by Van Heusdens article. I can’t fathom how anyone reading it would find fault with a country wishing to insure perfect (as in healthy) babies? Any parent with a disabled child reading this article would be disgusted (regardless of their opinion of Jews and/or Israel) Even if it were a “military operation”, so f*cken what! Every parents goal is a healthy baby! and most would give their eye teeth for such care. Is she disappointed? Would she have preferred to deliver an imperfect baby? I call Bulls**t —–that being said, if she is so distressed and this is such an issue for her, she could always give it up for adoption and go for poor pre-natal care and a sick baby next time. INGRATE

  20. Why? I can accept that the history of antisemitism means that sweeping statements about Jews are more offensive, or should be avoided with more care. But this is one article – not representative of all Dutch Christians.

    I thought the post itself was fine though, and I thought Katya’s comment, in particular, was spot on.

    • Sorry – that last comment was meant to addressed to silvertrees, disagreeing with me when I agreed with Pretzelberg that JH made some sweeping statements.

  21. SilverTrees: by “randomly” antisemitic, I meant that her bile, suspicion and disgust seemed to come out of nowhere and be apropos of nothing. It may as well have been something like “I was served a delicious cup of coffee in a Paris cafe, and that just confirmed to me how evil the French are”. In that sense, it seemed random, philosophically/causally disconnected, almost nonsensical.

  22. “You mean irrational debate works better?”

    No, I´m just saying that for Jew-haters nothing makes much of a difference, and sometimes striking back is the only option.

    “You assume, assert, imply most Europeans are impervious to reason, which is not a little racist in itself”

    Sorry, this is the same BS that was being discussed elsewhere about
    “sweeping generalizations”. If you want to play this game, then everytime we refer to a group we´d be charges as racists. Let´s quit this word-games, ok? I know very well that not ALL europeans are racists, but SOME, particularly the ones at the so-called “chattering-classes” are clearly Judeophobes, and as such, impervious to reason. Is it now clear enough for you?

    .”You conflate most Dutch Christians with this (rather nasty) lady, most Europeans with Dutch Christians, which is the same.”

    You are confusing me with someone else.

    “This is a very intellectually deficient way of looking at, and speaking to, the world.”

    Maybe so. Same can be said regarding a naive confidence in engaging with emotional hatreds with rational debate and of expecting that “truth will always prevail” and that “the world” will see thourgh the maze of lies.

    • ‘You are confusing me with someone else.’

      No, with you. You spoke of ‘Europeans’ with regard to, through the prism of, this lady, and Pretzel’s (and Sarah A B’s, I think,) objection to JH’s conflation of her with Dutch Christians’ generally.

      ‘I know very well that not ALL europeans are racists’

      In that case, why did you have to adduce the fact that this woman is European into your argument, as you did here?

      ‘Moreover, it´s usually europeans themselves that bring up the nazi-card in their supposedly objective “criticism of Israeli policies”.’

      But you’re being dishonest, because you +are+ asserting something about +a+ (if not the) majority of Europeans, the ‘so called (by you) ‘chattering classes”, whatever you mean by that, as pasted below.

      What do you mean, exactly? Do you know?

      Do you mean the intellectuals? The people who gossip (i.e. probably most human beings on earth)? The people who chatter (again, probably most people)? The people who read bestsellers and discuss them?

      And, again, you raised this by virtue of this one article by this one woman, in one paper (and I appreciate there is the issue of who many people this paper may influence).

      Introducing this attempt to guilt Dutch Christians or Europeans generally because of their alleged guilt for the past, or closet antisemitism, is totally unnecessary to protest the naked antisemitism of this woman’s article, and arguably the paper guilty of publishing it, and wholly counterproductive.

      ‘SOME, particularly the ones at the so-called “chattering-classes” are clearly Judeophobes, and as such, impervious to reason. Is it now clear enough for you?’

      No. It is clear you +are+ trying to indict European culture or society generally, for all your obfuscations to the contrary.

      • Listen, you are still fixed in this politically-correct game about generalizations. Try to understand it once and for all: people generalize all the time! It´s how our cognitive apparatus works. Without generalizations one can´t do philosophy, science or have any meaningful discussion beyond pointing to specific, individual objetcs.

        YOU YOURSELF has just made a “sweeping generalization” when you talked about “typical CIFwatch” whatever. This is a generalization. So, next time please, cite specifically who are you refering to, giving their genealogical tree and complete decoded DNA.

        As for Europe, YES, I indict it´s culture which produced eliminationist anti-Semitism, nazi-fascism and communism. But I also praise European culture that also produced the best philosophy, science and art. See, I can see nuance and contradiction in human affairs.

        And, finally, you are the dishonest one, because I didn´t refer in my comments to Dutch christians or whatever.

    • ‘Same can be said regarding a naive confidence in engaging with emotional hatreds with rational debate and of expecting that “truth will always prevail” and that “the world” will see thourgh the maze of lies.’

      Well, if it doesn’t, what’s the alternative to all leaving for Israel or setting up a new Judean state, here in Europe? If European culture is inveterately prejudiced, Judeophobic or antisemitic?

        • One has to be moderately hopeful, not blindly optimistic not fall for illusions and wishful thinking. That´s my whole point. There´s absolutely NO guarantee that truth will always prevail nor that everything will be all right. In sum, sh*t happens, the best one can do in be realistically on alert. But somehow for you it´s all or nothing and you jump to crazy conclusions. That´s your problem, not mine.

      • Eh? I was just pointing out that anti-Semitism is an emotional hatred and maybe impervious to rational debate and suddenly you want to finish off with Israel? Aren´t you being a little hysterical?

  23. Well, I can’t believe I just read 100 messages the vast majority of which (some of them mine, so I’m equally guilty) obsessing about minutiae of the use of language in hastily-written below-the-line comments on a blog.

    Excuse me for trying to bring a little unity, but at least everyone on here (including those who traditionally are not ‘fans’ of CiFWatch) is agreed that the article is deeply offensive and I would like to thank Yochanan, Honest Reporting and CifWatch for bringing it to our attention.

  24. Trouw was set up as an anti-Nazi paper during the occupation.

    And across Europe it was leftwingers rather than conservatives who protested against the treatment of the Jews.

    • Oh, is that so? That´s why Social-Democrats and Communists never joined forces to defeat the nazis in elections, for, after all, elections are just burgeois formalities and the more instable things get, the better for revolution, right? And what about the nazi-soviet pact, in which the USSR negotiated the plunder of Poland, including the massacre of polish officers in Katyn; and included giving info to the nazis about Germany´s underground left?

      Enough of your revisionism, pretzle. Try again.