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The Hague's Mayor: No Problem with Islamic Extremists
by Timon Dias
The Hague's mayor, Jozias van Aartsen, of the Dutch center-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), is known for raising eyebrows when it comes to Islamic extremism. In early July 2014, during demonstrations protesting Israel's Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza strip against the Hamas terrorist organization, Van Aartsen stated that "No boundaries were crossed" when ISIS supporters chanted the anti-Jewish battle cry: "Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud" ["Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning"] -- basically an incitement to genocide -- and "death to the Jews." Other chants included, "Jews should return to the sewer" and "Long live Hitler." Islamists also threatened journalists.
Van Aartsen responded through his spokesman and with an interview in the Netherlands' most politically correct newspaper, NRC-Handelsblad. In it, he called the controversy around his statements "an exaggerated smear campaign," and spun the entire matter into a rant against Geert Wilders (of the Dutch Freedom Party) -- without, of course, Van Aartsen ever being hindered or questioned further by the interviewer.
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