Showing posts with label Dutch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dutch. Show all posts

July 10, 2023

There's an ethical lesson to be learned from the collapse of the Dutch government over immigration policy

 


By Hal Brown

Here's a basic summary of what inspried todays blog from CNN


Below are three points which address what I consder to be basic ethical concerns. They are from this New York Times (subscription) article from July 7th.

  1. “One of the values that are important with the proposals is that children grow up with their parents,” a statement by the Christian Union party said. “As a family party, that is what we stand for.” The party said it wanted to work with “heart and soul for a humane and effective migration policy.”
  2. The large numbers of arrivals have strained the Netherlands’ housing capacity, which was already suffering a shortage for the country’s more than 17 million people.
  3. “Everybody wants to find a good, effective solution that also does justice to the fact that this is about human lives,” the finance minister, Sigrid Kaag, a member of the D66 party, said before the talks began.
The belief that there is a moral imperative for being willing to sacrifice your own comfort, up to your own life in extraordinary circumstances, is a core tenet of all or most of the world's religions and a basis for the philosophy of ethics. 

As Wiki explains, "ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrongvirtue and vicejustice and crime."

Whether in the Netherlands or the United States the immigration of people fleeing persecution, sometimes risking their lives to do so, has been a major divisive poltical issue.

At the most simple level this boils down to actually giving up something tangible, for example in the Netherlands better housing capacity or something intangible like in the United States and other countries the sharing of your country with people of other ethnic and relgious backgrounds and life styles.

From immigration to human rights for everyone including groups not only demonized by Trump and more blatantly (if we ever thought this was possible by a right-winger) by DeSantis, but also like Marine Le Pen in France, it's all about ethics. More specifically it is about a lack of ethics.

When I was considering writing this I shared some of my ideas with a dear friend whose parents survived a NAZI concentration camp. She reminded me of this line from "The Diary of Anne Frank": 

“I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
She wrote this about a month before she and her family were arrested.

Anne Frank was in her early to mid-teens when in hiding and we can speculate that despite the abject fear she lived with knowing what she and her family's fate could be, she depserately tried to maintain her optimistic view that deep down all people were good at heart.

To contemplate that this is not demonstrated in real life and that while there are people who try to live their lives adhering as best as they can to an ethical code, there are those who, to put it bluntly, are just plain evil

By conincidence in relationship to my writing this blog about Dutch politics, this was written when she and he family were in hiding in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

During World War II the NAZI's occupied the Netherlands and about 75% of the Jews living their were sent to concentration camps where most of them were killed.

Between 25,000  and 34,000 Jews fled from Germany in the 1930's. For more see The Holocaust in The Netherlands from Wikipedia.

Dutch citizens had engaged in a valient and fierce resistance againt the NAZI's which you can read about here.

Also by chance, as I did some research about the Netherlands and the Holocaust I came across tis article:

The article begins with a reference to Anne Frank:

The story of teenage diarist Anne Frank is known across the world. But a new survey suggests a “disturbing” lack of awareness about the Holocaust in the Netherlands, where she and her family hid for years before being discovered and deported to a Nazi concentration camp.

and goes on as follows:

A Dutch Holocaust survivor and Jewish cultural leaders have expressed dismay at the survey, which was released Wednesday and suggests that more than half of the residents were not aware of the deportation and murder of Jews from the country during World War II.

The survey, conducted and released by the New York-based nonprofit Claims Conference ahead of International Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, found that 53% of the respondents couldn’t identify the Netherlands as a country where the events of the Holocaust happened — rising to 60% among millennial and Gen Z respondents, meaning those under 40.

Historians estimate more than 70% of the Netherlands’ prewar Jewish population was killed during the Holocaust, more than 100,000 in total. Frank hid in a secret room in Amsterdam with her family from 1942 to 1944 before she died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp weeks before its liberation.

I can do no better than to end this blog with a quote from Mark Lezer who was six when the NAZI's invaded the Netherlands and who lost family in the Holocaust. He said it is imperative that the story of the Holocaust should never be allowed to fade from memory.

“Because if you don’t know enough about the Holocaust and you do not know that so many people died because of the Nazi persecution, then you do not know enough to be realistic about the future.”

This should go not only for the Dutch, but for everyone whose country is facing a push by authoriatians who envision ruling over a country not too different than what Hitler wanted for Germany.










Compassion doesn't count ballots: Biden does the moral thing on immigration and it will hurt him with many voters. All Trump needs now is his own Willie Horton. by Hal Brown, MSW

In the news today a top story  (read article)  is that President Biden has once again demonstrated that he has a heart and good sense when i...