BNNVARA – Bringing hate into the limelight

On 24 May 2018 I wrote a mail to the dutch broadcasting company BNNVARA:

„Dear Thijs Verheij,

The Sanne Wallis De Show produced a parody of Eurovision Song Contest winner song “Toy” by Netta. In this parody, the Jewish singer Netta is portrayed as a money-loving „bitch“ who enjoys hunting Palestinians and throwing bombs, but who also knows how to innocently leave the world in the dark about her sinister intrigues. The Netta in this song also knows how to subdue the whole world with a sweet smile. That’s Israel according to the parody.

My questions are:

1. Why do you think Israel acts the way it does?

2. The greedy jew is a stereotype. Was that stereotype used on purpose in the parody?

3. The Jew subduing the world is also a standard stereotype, as promoted in the anti-Semitic treatise, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.
Would BNNVARA care to make a statement in regard to that implication in the parody?

4. The founding Charta of the Hamas, the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, demands in article 7 the annihilation of all Jews worldwide. The attack on Israel in May 2018 was organized by Hamas. Most of the casualties at the Israeli border were Hamas operatives. As implied in the parody, are you of the view that Israel ”enjoys” being forced to protect itself against people whose prímary aim is the destruction of Israel and Jews worldwide?

5. Did the show deliberately decide not to mention that the Hamas has declared a war of annihilation against all Jews? Did the show deliberately not mention the hate and warmongering taught in Gaza’s TV shows, schools, mosques, kindergartens and public squares?

6. Why did you decide to make the parody the way you did?

7. Do you think, Israel acted unproportionally defending itself?

8. Do you think Netta is a “bitch”? What did she do to deserve this treatment?

9. Can we expect more “jokes” like this?

I thank you in advance for your sincere interest and answers to my questions.

Gerd Buurmann
Köln, Germany“

The answer:

„Dear Gerd,

Thank you very much for asking BNNVARA to respond. Here is our statement:

In Sanne Wallis de Show events of the past week are discussed in a satirical way. Last week, the winning song festival song of Israel coincidentally coincided with the flaring conflict in the Gaza Strip. The parody questions the policy of Israel and is emphatically not an indictment against the Jewish community.

Kind regards,
Thijs Verheij“

My reply:

„Dear Thijs,

Please be so kind to answer my questions. There are nine of them. Your statement did not answer my questions. I think journalists with serious questions shouldn’t be treated like this. So, I‘m still waiting for the answers.

Best regards,
Gerd Buurmann“

The answer:

„Dear Gerd,

The statement answers most of your questions and my personal opion on the subject isn’t relevant at all. As a supplement to the statement before:

The parodie does not refer to anti-Semitic prejudices. The passages about world leaders and dollars have nothing to do with Nazi ideas: they refer only to the current close ties between Israel/Netanyahu and (in particular) Trump, both politically and economically. The parody questions this policy.

Our broadcasting company likes to give its makers room to bring their opinions, no matter how different they may be, into the limelight. After all, we live in a free country

And satire in the show will be different every week.“

My reply:

„Dear Thijs;

Thanks for your answer. Yes, we live in a free country, thank god. Only freedom of speech allows me to hear how people think. The parody of BNNVARA makes its point very clear. Let me be frank and use my freedom of speech: The parody is anti-Semetic, big time.

Only in a free society it is possible to give room to people who want to bring parodies like this into the limelight. BNNVARA decided to air the parody. BNNVARA brought anti-Semitism into the limelight. Well, after all, as you say, we live in a free country.

Please, exercise your freedom of speech. I may not agree with you but I will always defend your right to say and write, whatever you want. Thanks to freedom of speech and your use of it, I know now, where you stand.

Best regards,

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