Why is this news?
It‘s a crisis at Forum for Democracy. The party now has two people in the House of Representatives, but in 2019 it became the largest in the Netherlands in the provincial elections.
In the spring things went a little wrong with the youth organisation, the JFVD. Apps were already leaking out of their app groups with anti-Jewish stickers and pro-Nazi messages. Initially, the party disapproved the apps, but it was also said ‘not to be a thought police‘. Later, three youngsters were taken out of the party anyway. The three members who leaked the apps to the press were also able to pack their belongings.
It seemed ready with that. Until last week, it turned out that some app groups still didn’t go well. Several politicians at Forum reacted fiercely: the youth department had to stop completely and be re-established.
One thing: the chairman of the young people, Freek Jansen, was in place seven for the Second Chamber elections in March next year. There was a hassle about that: a number of politicians thought he had to leave. Baudet wanted to wait for an investigation by the party to see the apps.
end, it was Jansen who decided to stop himself. Not much later Baudet also withdrew, according to his own words to ‘take political responsibility’. Theo Hiddema even stopped one day after Baudet‘s statement immediately. Meanwhile, Joost Eerdmans has indicated that he is keen to become the new number one of Forum.
Who finds what?
So a lot is happening at the Forum for Democracy and young people are the instigator of this. In their app groups, they shared a sticker with Anne Frank to the cocaine and a message admiring two extreme right-wing terrorists who killed many people. Someone also sent ‘I support literally every ideology where one strives for 95% whites and 0% Muslims‘ and ‘anti-Semitism (Jews‘ hatred) may always be dear’.
CCEit Stories spoke to a number of members of the JFVD and asked what they think of the apps and the situation that has arisen. They cooperated on this article if they remained anonymous.
First of all, there are a number of Members who are very angry with the young people who sent the messages. One responds: “I find it disgusting and it is a pity that they now see the whole party as anti-Jewish.”
Another: “I am ashamed of the apps, because they have nothing to do with the views of the Forum for Democracy. The people who sent this do not belong in the party at all. It is therefore a pity that Forum for Democracy has done little with it before.” This guy himself was in group apps where these kinds of messages were shared, but he got out before they leaked. “I didn‘t want to be associated with it. Some things were funny, like Anne Frank on coke, but sometimes there was little humor left about it. That’s how I experienced a terrorist who killed people at mosques was truly worshiped. The Forum for Democracy is not like that at all, and I absolutely do not want to be part of that.”
Other members of JFVD don‘t think the pro-Nazi messages can be, but they don’t understand the fuss about the anti-Jewish stickers.
One responds: “Some commotion is justified, but others are not. I understand that those stickers are considered racist, but they come across in so many app groups. Banned from the group app, I would have found a better punishment than all of this.”
Another: “The fuss is understandable. Nobody wants to see such messages in a tolerant country like the Netherlands, and many JFVD people do not want that at all. However, there are other parties with group apps of young people, for example the SP and GroenLinks, where young people talk about militias and civil war. I saw that myself. So why is it just about Forum and character murder on Baudet? By the way, the fact that De Volkskrant once called us “Nazis, “has only made those messages in the group apps worse. That was real oil on the fire.”
Another youngster states that the messages were more light than it seems today: “It is more false humor, which has been accepted among young people. And I don‘t mean just JFVD youngsters.”
A boy who can’t enjoy the humor of anti-Jewish stickers, memes and messages at all is Schmuel. Because of his clearly Jewish name, he joined JFVD under a different, more neutral name.
He even made it to the board of the youth organization, but was terribly shocked by what he found.
“ I am no longer a member and stopped doing everything, because it also started to hit me a lot personally. It is therefore quite right that Thierry and Freek are gone, because because of what they said they are really unfit as leader. There was a huge amount of extremism in thegroup apps and the messages often went too far. It is therefore quite right that there has been a fuss about it and it is quite strange that they were trying to save themselves at first. Because Freek knew very well what was going on.”
“ I sent those messages.”
Opposite Schmuel is a boy who dared to admit to us that he shared some of these messages in the group apps himself. Despite the many fuss he does not understand the problem. “I‘m sorry that there’s so much hassle about it now. Others have leaked this on purpose to damage the Forum for Democracy. Some statements were indeed clumsy but really no reason for this.”
According to the boy, he didn‘t mean anything wrong with the messages and they were “sarcastic and ironic.” “I know myself that some people do not consider them acceptable, but the way they read them, I did not mean them. Friends of mine send messages like this on the assembly line, but then I immediately know: oh, this is irony.”
The boy also spoke regularly with Freek Jansen, the chairman of the young. “He also sent apps that are clumsy and not charming afterwards. Even things I would never say. But it’s still a good guy.”