Tagarchief: In English

Coronameasures for fighting corona only, not as back door for the limitation of democratic rights/April 2020


Coronavirus, Corona, Virus, Pandemie, Infectie

COVID 19…..


APRIL 2020Published by the Dutch newspaper NRC
See for publication of my Letter to the Editor by NRC
Under the title:
”Blijf alert als rechten worden ingeperkt””English translation:Stay alert when rights are curtailed”

Dear Readers
And here is Astrid Essed again, with the English translation of my first Letter to the Editor piece about the Dutch Coronameasures
See my Letter to the Editor, as sent to a number of Dutch and Belgian newspapers

The Letter to the Editor is a Wake Up Call regarding the Dutch coronameasures, a warning that the coronameasures, although absolutely necessary, must not be used as a backdoor to limit democratic freedoms in the sense that they must not used as a repressive measure in other cases, which have nothing to do with corona.Read for yourself.
The reason I have translated my Letter in English is at the request of someone I highly value for her scientific historical work and has become a good and valuable emailcontact.She can read Dutch, but to make it easier for her to grip the details I translated my Letter in English.This translation is also a gesture to my other English readers
Enjoy reading!
Stay healthy and safe
Astrid Essed

Published by NRC
”Blijf alert als rechten worden ingeperkt”


Ingezonden Stuk
Geachte Redactie

Nu het Coronavirus als een spook door  Nederland, Europa en de wereld rondraast, heeft een aantal landen maatregelen genomen om het virus in te dammen, wat noodzakelijk is,Sommige maatregelen gaan ver, zoals in Frankrijk, waar politieagenten massaal zijn gemobiliseerd en checkpoints zijn ingesteld en zoals in een aantal landen, waar de noodtoestand is uitgeroepen..Ook Nederland heeft noodzakelijke maatregelen genomen, die minder ver gaan, en hopelijk vruchten afwerpen.Toch kleeft er een gevaar aan dit alles, niet voor  nu, maar mogelijk voor de toekomst.Want wat gebeurt er  met die beperkende maatregelen, als het Coronavirus is overwonnen?Wat als hier, in het kader van de coronacrisis, de noodtoestand wordt ingesteld wat betekent, speciale bevoegdheden, zoals veel meer politie en zelfs het leger op straat.Weinig mensen zullen daartegen dan bezwaar maken, maar speciale maatregelen plegen nog al eens te beklijven, ook als het niet meer noodzakelijk is.Een voorbeeld is Frankrijk, waar de noodtoestand in 2015 werd ingevoerdnaar aanleiding van aanslagen in november 2015.Twee jaar later werd die noodtoestand opgeheven, maar is grotendeels  omgezet in ruimere wetgeving, met meer bevoegdheden.Of Hongarije, waar premier Orban de coronamaatregelen heeft aangegrepen om praktisch een greep naar de macht te doen.Nu was Orban reeds lang een halve dictator en is Frankrijk veel autoritairder dan Nederland.Ik zeg dus niet, dat Nederland het Franse of Hongaarse voorbeeld zal volgen, maar toch is  van belang, ervoor te waken, dat na de coronacrisis geen maatregelen blijven hangen, die de democratische speelruimte beperken en de privacy verder schenden.Noch, dat de publieke opinie, afgeschrikt door de coronacrisis, het makkelijker aanvaardbaar vindt, als er in andere situaties opnieuw beperkende maatregelen worden genomen.Laten we daar als samenleving alert op blijven.

Astrid EssedAmsterdam
Published by NRC”Blijf alert als rechten worden ingeperkt””English translation:Stay alert when rights are curtailed”


Letter to the Editor
Now that the Coronavirus is wandering like a ghost across the Netherlandfs, Europe and the world, a great number of countries have taken measures to fight the virus, which is necessary.Some measures are firm and go far, like in France, where police officers have been mobilized and checkpoints are set, as in a number of countries, where the state of emergency has been established.The Netherlands have taken also taken serious, less far going  measures, that hopefully will help.Yet there is some snake in the grass, not for now, but maybe in the future.Because what will happen with the coronameasures, when corona is defeated?What when here [in the Netherlands] the state of emergency is established, which means special authorizations like more police or even the army in the streets.Because of the necessity to fight corona, few people will object, but the problem is, that ”special measures” tend to remain in the political spectrum, even when there is no need for them anymore.One example is France, where in 2015 the state of emergency had been established in response to the terrorist attacks in november 2015.Two years later the state of emergency had been lifted, but was converted to broader legislation, with more authorizations.Another example is Hungary, where prime minister Orban has used the coronamesaures as a pretext to take a firmer hold of power

Now Orban always has been half of a dictator and France is far more authoritarian than the Netherlands.

.I don’t say, that the Netherlands will follow the French or Hungarian example, yet it is of the utmost importance to be watchful that after the coronacrisis no measures will continue to exist, that will limit the democratic space and violating the privacy rights.We must also be watchful that the public opinion, deterred by the coronacrisis, easier accepts, when in other situations also strict measures are taken.As a society we have the duty to remain alert on any limitations of democratic rights.

Astrid EssedAmsterdam




President Emmanuel Macron’s signature anti-terror law has come into force after France’s two-year state of emergency ended on Wednesday. Critics say the new legislation bears many hallmarks of the emergency decree. 

Wednesday marks the final day of France’s state of emergency, imposed after terror  attacks in Paris in November 2015 that killed 139 people.

The emergency decree will be replaced by a new law which President Macron said gives authorities the powers they need to “deal with terrorist threats while preserving citizens’ rights.”

“A promise kept: we are ending the state of emergency on November 1 while reinforcing the security of our fellow citizens,” Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.

“The terrorist threat remains great,”  Interior Minister Gerard Collomb (above, left) said after Macron signed the bill into law.

MPs amended the government draft of the bill so that almost all the new powers will expire automatically at the end of 2020.

Macron gets tough

Macron, elected in May, had said he wanted to allow the emergency provisions to expire and in his campaign cited a parliamentary report showing the expansion of police powers had produced ‘modest’ results since the Paris attacks.

But since coming to power Macron has changed his position, reflecting both the pressures felt by the French authorities after Islamist-related terror attacks have left 239 dead in the past two years as well as a creeping perception that Macron is a weak president.

The government now claims the enhanced police powers have helped prevent more than 30 attacks.

Under the state of emergency, 11 religious centers have been shuttered “for incitement to commit terrorist acts” and 41 individuals have been placed under house arrest for harboring extremist sympathies.

France is a main target for the “Islamic State” (IS) in the West, with 30 percent of attacks or foiled plots related to the extremist group, according to research published by the Paris-based Center for the Analysis of Terrorism.

Criticizm of the law

Critics say the law will leave the country in a permanent state of emergency. Rights groups, the radical left and the far-right National Front all argue the measures risk making emergency powers part of ordinary law.

The bill sparked a heated debate in the French parliament, with critics arguing that it will be used to persecute minorities, particularly Muslims, with impunity.

“France has become so addicted to the state of emergency that it is now injecting several of these abusive measures into ordinary law,” Human Rights Watch said before parliament backed the legislation.

Two UN experts also criticized the bill in October for its “vague wording,” which they said does not define terrorism nor the threats to national security sufficiently well. They also worried that Muslims may face “discriminatory repercussions.”

According to a poll by Le Figaro newspaper, 57 percent of the French public back the measures, although 62 percent agreed that it was a restriction of basic freedoms.




Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for spreading misinformation and gives no clear time limit to a state of emergency that allows the nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, to rule by decree.

Parliament voted by 137 to 53 to pass the measures on Monday afternoon, with the two-thirds majority enjoyed by Orbán’s Fidesz party enough to push them through in spite of opposition from other parties, which had demanded a time limit or sunset clause on the legislation.

The bill introduces jail terms of up to five years for intentionally spreading misinformation that hinders the government response to the pandemic, leading to fears that it could be used to censor or self-censor criticism of the government response.

As of Monday morning, Hungary had 447 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 15 deaths, although the real figures are likely to be higher. The country is under a partial lockdown, with people discouraged from going outside except for essential activities, and schools, restaurants and many shops closed.

Rights groups and government critics say that while it is clear coronavirus brings extraordinary challenges, checks and balances should be placed on the government response, especially given Orbán’s erosion of democratic norms during his 10 years in power. 

“This bill would create an indefinite and uncontrolled state of emergency and give Viktor Orbán and his government carte blanche to restrict human rights,” said Dávid Vig, Amnesty International’s Hungary director. “This is not the way to address the very real crisis that has been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Hungary’s liberal opposition had said that although it had concerns over a number of elements of the law, it was willing to overlook them in the spirit of compromise as long as a sunset clause was introduced.

Of course we support the emergency situation. We agree with the government that there’s an emergency and that they have to do everything to combat it. We offered almost everything, but we asked for the time limit,” said Ágnes Vadai, an MP with the opposition Democratic Coalition party.

However, the ruling party had made it clear that it was not willing to back down over the sunset clause, she claimed. “I think from the very beginning, they didn’t want an agreement, because they have used the whole thing for political communication,” said Vadai.

Immediately after the vote, the senior Fidesz minister Katalin Novák wrote on Twitter: “The parliament authorized the government to continue fighting effectively against #Covid_19 … Regrettably, the opposition parties do not support this fight.” 


Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Coronameasures for fighting corona only, not as back door for the limitation of democratic rights/April 2020

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Corona trainbook [”Spoorboekje Corona] of the Dutch government/Playing Russian Roulette with human lives/May 2020


Coronavirus, Corona, Virus, Pandemie, Infectie

COVID 19…..



Dear Readers
On this beautiful, unexpectedly warm sunday afternoon, another Good Deed from Astrid Essed!As you know, I had written a Letter to the Editor about the relaxation of the Dutch Coronameasures from 6 may

This Letter to the Editor was published by the Dutch paper ”De Telegraaf]
Now my Good Deed/HAHAHA
On the request of someone I highly appreciate for her excellent scientific historical work and who has become a valued emailcontact, I have translated this Letter to the Editor in English, with some additions and explanations about the Dutch situation.She can read Dutch, but I did this gesture to her so that she might get some details easier
Also I want to share this with my other English readers
Earlier I translated by recent Dutch Letter to the Editor about the Dutch Coronasituation

You all stay safe and healthy
Astrid Essed


Ingezonden Stuk
Geachte Redactie,
Dat het kabinet ondanks het levensgevaarlijke karakter van het Coronavirus, dat vanaf 27 februari aan meer dan 5000 mensen het leven gekost heeft, reeds in een betrekkelijk snel stadium overgaat tot een mega versoepeling van de coronamaatregelen, is onverantwoordelijk en kortzichtig.Feitelijk is het Russische roulette spelen met de volksgezondheid.Want de nieuwe maatregelen vanaf 6 mei, aangekondigd in het ”coronaspoorboekje” liegen er niet om.Reeds was besloten, dat de basisscholen op 11 mei hun deuren zouden openen.Mijns inziens onverantwoord, want kinderen naar school betekent meer ouders op straat, belasting voor het Openbaar Vervoer en onzekerheid over het besmettingsrisico.Volgens deskundigen zijn kinderen minder besmettelijk naar anderen toe, maar dat wordt door een recent Duits onderzoek van viroloog Drosten bestreden, zonder dat het onderzoek in Nederland serieus is meegenomen in de afweging.Vanaf 11 mei mogen kappers hun deuren openen, vanaf 1 juni gaan de terassen en restaurants weer open, alsmede de bioscopen [30 mensen].Dat betekent meer mensen op straat, met toenemend besmettingsrisico.Ook is het houden van anderhalve meter afstand bij een kappersbehandeling of een rij-instructeur [wordt ook vrijgegeven] natuurlijk niet mogelijk. Mondkapjes zijn vanaf 1 juni verplicht in het openbaar vervoer, maar bieden een schijnveiligheid, omdat zij maar voor maximaal 20 procent risico-dekkend zijn.Leuk wordt dat, als het drukker wordt in het openbaar vervoer!Dat vakantieparken en dierentuinen vanaf 1 juli open worden gesteld, doet bij mij de vraag rijzen, of dit kabinet niet totaal de weg kwijt is.Waarom niet eerst het effect van de openstelling van de scholen op 11 mei afgewacht, in plaats van, [nog] niet gehinderd door veel kennis over dit virus en een mogelijke tweede heftigere golf, vrijwel alles open gooien?Dit gaat te snel, dit is onverantwoordelijk, hier wordt gespeeld met de veiligheid van mensen.Heropstarting van de economie?Belangrijk, maar  nogal moeilijk, als een groot deel van de bevolking hetzij ziek wordt, hetzij overlijdt.Zonder mensen, geen economie.Nu maar hopen, dat dit kabinet alsnog tot rede komt.
Astrid EssedAmsterdam 
LETTER TO THE EDITOR8 MAY 2020TITLE OF LETTER/MAIL:Relaxation of the coronmaeasures with the help of the ”coronaspoorboekje”[coronatrainbook] is a life threatening game of the government

[This Letter to the Editor has been publ;ished by the newspaper ”De Telegraaf”, see under this text]
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,
Given the life threatening character of the Coronavirus, that from 27 february has taken the lives of more than 5000 people, I think it is irresponsible and shortsighted, that the Dutch government is moving on to a mega relaxation of  the coronameasures.In fact the way the government is acting now is playing Russian Roulette with the public health.Because the new measures from 6 may, announced in the ”coronaspoorboekje” [corona trainbook] are clear and mean.Already there was decided to open the elementary schools from 11 may.I think that’s irresponsible, because children going back to school means more parents on the streets, a burden for the public transport and insecurity about the risk of contamination.According medical experts children are less contagious for others, but that has been contradicted by a recent German investigation by top virologist dr Drosten.Why his investigation didn’t play a role by the Dutch decision to re open the elementary schools?From 11 may barbershops are allowed to open again, and from 1 june also cafe’s and restaurants, as cinema’s [30 people]That means more people on the streets with an increasing risk on contamination.And of course social distancing [1,5 meter distance] isn’t possible at the barbershop and driving lessons [also opening again]From 1 june mouth masks are mandatory in the public transport, but [non medically mouth masks] offer only a false security, because they they cover the risk only for 20 percent.That can be fun, when the public transport becomes more crowded!The opening of holiday resorts and zoo’s raises the question, whether this government has lost its way completely.Why not first waiting for the effect of opening the schools on 11 may, before, not yet hindered by much knowledge about the spreading of the virus, as a possible second corona wave, opening nearly all sectors of social life?This is too fast, this is irresponsible, this is jeopardizing the safety of people.Restart of the economy?Important, but rather difficult, when a great number of the population gets ill, or dies.Without people, no economy.It is really to be hoped, that this government gets its senses back!
Astrid EssedAmsterdam


08 mei 2020 in WAT U ZEGT

Dat het kabinet ondanks het levensgevaarlijke karakter van het Coronavirus, dat vanaf 27 februari aan meer dan 5000 mensen het leven gekost heeft, reeds in een betrekkelijk snel stadium overgaat tot een mega versoepeling van de coronamaatregelen, is volgens Astrid Essed onverstandig.  

Feitelijk is het Russische roulette spelen met de volksgezondheid. Want de nieuwe maatregelen vanaf 6 mei, aangekondigd in het ’coronaspoorboekje’ liegen er niet om.

Reeds was besloten, dat de basisscholen op 11 mei hun deuren zouden openen. Mijns inziens onverantwoord, want kinderen naar school betekent meer ouders op straat, belasting voor het Openbaar Vervoer en onzekerheid over het besmettingsrisico.

Volgens deskundigen zijn kinderen minder besmettelijk naar anderen toe, maar dat wordt door een recent Duits onderzoek van viroloog Drosten bestreden, zonder dat het onderzoek in Nederland serieus is meegenomen in de afweging.

Vanaf 11 mei mogen kappers hun deuren openen, vanaf 1 juni gaan de terassen en restaurants weer open, alsmede de bioscopen. Dat betekent meer mensen op straat en een toenemend besmettingsrisico.

Ook is het houden van anderhalve meter afstand bij een kappersbehandeling of een rij-instructeur natuurlijk niet mogelijk.

Mondkapjes zijn vanaf 1 juni verplicht in het openbaar vervoer, maar bieden een schijnveiligheid, omdat zij maar voor maximaal 20 procent risico-dekkend zijn. Leuk wordt dat, als het drukker wordt in het openbaar vervoer!

Dat vakantieparken en dierentuinen vanaf 1 juli open worden gesteld, doet bij mij de vraag rijzen, of dit kabinet niet totaal de weg kwijt is.

Waarom niet eerst het effect van de openstelling van de scholen op 11 mei afwachten, in plaats van vrijwel alles open te gooien?

Dit gaat te snel, hier wordt gespeeld met de veiligheid van mensen. Heropstarting van de economie is belangrijk, maar nogal moeilijk, als een groot deel van de bevolking hetzij ziek wordt, hetzij overlijdt. Zonder mensen, geen economie. Nu maar hopen, dat dit kabinet alsnog tot rede komt.

Astrid EssedAmsterdam 



New Studies Add to Evidence that Children May Transmit the Coronavirus
New Studies Add to Evidence that Children May Transmit the CoronavirusExperts said the new data suggest that cases could soar in many U.S. communities if schools reopen soon.

  • Experts said the new data suggest that cases could soar in many U.S. communities if schools reopen soon. 
    Among the most important unanswered questions about Covid-19 is this: What role do children play in keeping the pandemic going?Fewer children seem to get infected by the coronavirus than adults, and most of those who do have mild symptoms, if any. But do they pass the virus on to adults and continue the chain of transmission?The answer is key to deciding whether and when to reopen schools, a step that President Trump urged states to consider before the summer.
    Two new studies offer compelling evidence that children can transmit the virus. Neither proved it, but the evidence was strong enough to suggest that schools should be kept closed for now, many epidemiologists who were not involved in the research said.
    Many other countries, including Israel, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have all either reopened schools or are considering doing so in the next few weeks.In some of those countries, the rate of community transmission is low enough to take the risk. But in others, including the United States, reopening schools may nudge the epidemic’s reproduction number — the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case, commonly referred to as R0 — to dangerous levels, epidemiologists warned after reviewing the results from the new studies.

    In one study, published last week in the journal Science, a team analyzed data from two cities in China — Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, and Shanghai — and found that children were about a third as susceptible to coronavirus infection as adults were. But when schools were open, they found, children had about three times as many contacts as adults, and three times as many opportunities to become infected, essentially evening out their risk.Based on their data, the researchers estimated that closing schools is not enough on its own to stop an outbreak, but it can reduce the surge by about 40 to 60 percent and slow the epidemic’s course.“My simulation shows that yes, if you reopen the schools, you’ll see a big increase in the reproduction number, which is exactly what you don’t want,” said Marco Ajelli, a mathematical epidemiologist who did the work while at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy.
    The second study, by a group of German researchers, was more straightforward. The team tested children and adults and found that children who test positive harbor just as much virus as adults do — sometimes more — and so, presumably, are just as infectious. 

    “Are any of these studies definitive? The answer is ‘No, of course not,’” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who was not involved in either study. But, he said, “to open schools because of some uninvestigated notion that children aren’t really involved in this, that would be a very foolish thing.”The German study was led by Christian Drosten, a virologist who has ascended to something like celebrity status in recent months for his candid and clear commentary on the pandemic. Dr. Drosten leads a large virology lab in Berlin that has tested about 60,000 people for the coronavirus. Consistent with other studies, he and his colleagues found many more infected adults than children.
    The team also analyzed a group of 47 infected children between ages 1 and 11. Fifteen of them had an underlying condition or were hospitalized, but the remaining were mostly free of symptoms. The children who were asymptomatic had viral loads that were just as high or higher than the symptomatic children or adults.“In this cloud of children, there are these few children that have a virus concentration that is sky-high,” Dr. Drosten said.He noted that there is a significant body of work suggesting that a person’s viral load tracks closely with their infectiousness. “So I’m a bit reluctant to happily recommend to politicians that we can now reopen day cares and schools.”
    Dr. Drosten said he posted his study on his lab’s website ahead of its peer review because of the ongoing discussion about schools in Germany.
    Many statisticians contacted him via Twitter suggesting one or another more sophisticated analysis. His team applied the suggestions, Dr. Drosten said, and even invited one of the statisticians to collaborate.“But the message of the paper is really unchanged by any type of more sophisticated statistical analysis,” he said. For the United States to even consider reopening schools, he said, “I think it’s way too early.”In the China study, the researchers created a contact matrix of 636 people in Wuhan and 557 people in Shanghai. They called each of these people and asked them to recall everyone they’d had contact with the day before the call.
    They defined a contact as either an in-person conversation involving three or more words or physical touch such as a handshake, and asked for the age of each contact as well as the relationship to the survey participant.Comparing the lockdown with a baseline survey from Shanghai in 2018, they found that the number of contacts during the lockdown decreased by about a factor of seven in Wuhan and eight in Shanghai.“There was a huge decrease in the number of contacts,” Dr. Ajelli said. “In both of those places, that explains why the epidemic came under control.” 
    The researchers also had access to a rich data set from Hunan province’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials in the province traced 7,000 contacts of 137 confirmed cases, observed them over 14 days and tested them for coronavirus infection. They had information not just for people who became ill, but for those who became infected and remained asymptomatic, and for anyone who remained virus-free.Data from hospitals or from households tend to focus only on people who are symptomatic or severely ill, Dr. Ajelli noted. “This kind of data is better.”

    The researchers stratified the data from these contacts by age and found that children between the ages of 0 and 14 years are about a third less susceptible to coronavirus infection than those ages 15 to 64, and adults 65 or older are more susceptible by about 50 percent.  ‘They also estimated that closing schools can lower the reproduction number — again, the estimate of the number of infections tied to a single case — by about 0.3; an epidemic starts to grow exponentially once this metric tops 1.In many parts of the United States, the number is already hovering around 0.8, Dr. Ajelli said. “If you’re so close to the threshold, an addition of 0.3 can be devastating.”However, some other experts noted that keeping schools closed indefinitely is not just impractical, but may do lasting harm to children.
    Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the decision to reopen schools cannot be made based solely on trying to prevent transmission.“I think we have to take a holistic view of the impact of school closures on kids and our families,” Dr. Nuzzo said. “I do worry at some point, the accumulated harms from the measures may exceed the harm to the kids from the virus.”
    E-learning approaches may temporarily provide children with a routine, “but any parent will tell you it’s not really learning,” she said. Children are known to backslide during the summer months, and adding several more months to that might permanently hurt them, and particularly those who are already struggling. 

    Children also need the social aspects of school, and for some children, home may not even be a safe place, she said.“I’m not saying we need to absolutely rip off the Band-aid and reopen schools tomorrow,” she said, “but we have to consider these other endpoints.”Dr. Nuzzo also pointed to a study in the Netherlands, conducted by the Dutch government, which concluded that “patients under 20 years play a much smaller role in the spread than adults and the elderly.”
    But other experts said that study was not well designed because it looked at household transmission. Unless the scientists deliberately tested everyone, they would have noticed and tested only more severe infections — which tend to be among adults, said Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.“Assumptions that children are not involved in the epidemiology, because they do not have severe illness, are exactly the kind of assumption that you really, really need to question in the face of a pandemic,” Dr. Hanage said. “Because if it’s wrong, it has really pretty disastrous consequences.”
    A new study by the National Institutes of Health may help provide more information to guide decisions in the United States. The project, called Heros, will follow 6,000 people from 2,000 families and collect information on which children get infected with the virus and whether they pass it on to other family members.
    Study to determine incidence of novel coronavirus infection in U.S. chil…NIH-funded study also will ascertain percentage of infected children who develop COVID-19.

    The experts all agreed on one thing: that governments should hold active discussions on what reopening schools looks like. Students could be scheduled to come to school on different days to reduce the number of people in the building at one time, for example; desks could be placed six feet apart; and schools could avoid having students gather in large groups.Teachers with underlying health conditions or of advanced age should be allowed to opt out and given alternative jobs outside the classroom, if possible, Dr. Nuzzo said, and children with underlying conditions should continue to learn from home.The leaders of the two new studies, Dr. Drosten and Dr. Ajelli, were both more circumspect, saying their role is merely to provide the data that governments can use to make policies.“I’m somehow the bringer of the bad news but I can’t change the news,” Dr. Drosten said. “It’s in the data.”

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Corona trainbook [”Spoorboekje Corona] of the Dutch government/Playing Russian Roulette with human lives/May 2020

Opgeslagen onder Divers

[2006]/Astrid Essed about the publication of the Muhammad cartoons by the Danish paper the Jylands Posten, republished by Charlie Hebdo and other European newspapers

Image result for ouderwetse vulpen/Foto's
Image result for middeleeuws zwaard




le mercredi 1 mars 2006, à 09:26, Astrid Essed écrivait :

The Danish cartoons: Freedom of _expression or licence to insult

Since a couple of weeks, a deep crisis has been developed regarding the publication dd september 2005 by the Danish paper The Jylands Posten of twelve cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, among else depicting him as a terrorist.

A number of Arabic governments and the Iran government not only asked the Danish ambassador for an explanation, also a great number of Arabic supermarkets decided to remove Danish products, for example in Saudi-Arabia, Algeria, Bahrein, Jordan, Kuwait, Morrocco, Qatar, Yemen and Tunesia
Recently, dd 6-2, the Iran government has decided to cut off all commercial relations with the Denmark.
Also the governments of Saudi Arabia and Libia has closed their embassies in Denmark.

Apart from those government-reactions, a great number of muslims protested against those cartoons, by which in many cases European embassies, in particular Danish embassies, were being violated.
Also the protests were expanded to the American military.
Recently four people were killed by the often trigger happy Afghan police, when a group of people marched on a U.S. military base in Southern-Afghanistan, out of protests against the Danish cartoons

To give a thourough analysis of this crisis and the controversy between the freedom of _expression, which is the point of view of most European media, and the lack of respect, which is the point of view of most muslims in and outside Europe, it is of importance to give a short review of the events.

The first publication of the Danish cartoons:

Dd 30-9-2005, the first publication by the Danish paper The Jylands Posten took place.
This caused a strong reaction, not only under moslims and moslim-organisations in Denmark, but also in Arabic diplomatic circles.
They asked for a conversation with the Danish prime-minister Rasmussen, who refused.
Seeing the recent crisis, mr Rasmussen has tried to calm down this by means of diplomacy, which failed.
However, he refused to make further excuses about the cartoons, calling the publications of the cartoons ”freedom ofexpression”

The second publication of the Danish cartoons:

However, despite of the crisis, which was caused by the first publication and which has also led to serious threatments to the address of the cartoonists, the Jylands Posten decided to republish the cartoons after the Christmas-period

It needs no surprise at all, that this second publication again lead to a serious crisis, by which not only the Danish government was being asked for an explanation, but also Danish products were being boycotted, diplomatic and commercial relations were broken and a huge people’s protest in a great number of countries burst out.
The main protests took place in Saudi-Arabia, the occupied Gaza-area, the occupied West-Bank, Yemen, Somalia, Indonesia, the by India ruled disputed Kashmir area, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nigeria and Libanon.

Probably under the pressure of the worldwide protests, the Jylands Posten offered her excuses to the moslims dd 30-1, which was being accepted by the islamic community in Denmark

The publication of the cartoons in the European media:

Soon after the first reactions from the Arabic world on the second publication of the referred cartoons, a number of European media-papers, following the line of the Jylands Posten, were publishing also the Danish cartoons, claiming that they did this under the pretext of ”freedom of _expression”
The cartoons were among else published in several Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, French, Belgian, Italian and German papers

The editor of the French paper ”France Soir” not only was publishing them, but also added some own caricatural contributions to them.
Therefore he was fired soon after publising the cartoons
As reaction, out of socalled solidarity with his indeed unacceptable resignation and again, in the name of the ‘freedom of _expression”, a number of Belgian papers were also publishing the cartoons.

Of course it is evident, that the European newspapers have the right on publishing the cartoons as an information-source for the judgment of the public opinion.
However, out of their point of view and regarding some editorial comments, they are of the opinion, that freedom of _expression can be ventilated totally, without any consideration for the religious rights of certain groups of people

Freedom ofexpression versus licence to insult:

Of course I consider freedom of _expression as one of the most fundamental rights of humanity, but that doesn’t imply, that there is no limitation to it.
Without any limitation namely, anywone would be free to utter racism and anti-semitism and other fundamental violations of human rights, as being condemned by as well European legislative law as International Law
In extremis it can lead to the opinion of a Dutch cartoonist J Collignon, who remarked in connection with the crisis round the cartoons, that it is no problem to publish Mein Kampf either

Also the socalled defenders of the freedom ofexpression forget, that their own legislative law has limited a total freedom of opinion, because the rights of different groups would be violated, as is being said above

In the first place, in European legislative Law, The ECHR [European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms], article 10 guarantees the freedom of _expression, there is an addition, that states that it is limited ”by everyone’s responsibility of the law”

In the Netherlands, where a great number of papers have published the cartoons, also article 7 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of _expression, there is an addition, that states that it is limited ”by each responsibility of the law”

Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution states, that racism and discrimination is not permitted.

Insult of the religion of certain groups:

More specifically yet, article 137c of the Dutch criminal law, forbids insults of the religion of the several groups in society

The insulting character of the cartoons:

It is obvious, that the Danish cartoons, from which some are depicting the for muslims holy Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist, is violating the muslims in their most sacred feelings and is therefore a violation of their religious rights.
Moreover the provocation lies in the fact, that it also implies a connection between the Islam and terrorism, which makes fundamentally no sense (being, like Christianity and Judaism, based on the principle of Love) and also a connection between muslims in general and terrorism, a serious European prejudice.

However I think, this is not only a question of legislative law, but responds also to the deeper principle of fundamental respect for other human beings.

By publishing those cartoons, the European papers not only has shown a fundamental lack of respect for the muslims outside Europe, but also for their moslims-co-citizens on their own country.

This sort of freedom of opinion bigotry is leading in extremis only to the further escalation of the growing tension between European autochtones and especially islamic allochtones, with the great risk of further radicalisation.

Reactions in the Arabic world:

Of course I am of the opinion, that the diplomatic reactions of the Arabic and Iranian government, not only regarding the boycot of the Danish poducts, but especially also against the Danish government, are extrapoportionnal, since the government of a country has no power over the edition-policy of a newspaper.

Also I condemn the reactions of violence in parts of the islamic world, which is directed against the foreign embassies.

However it is evident, that such an outburst of violence has more causes than the publication of the cartoons

Backgrounds of the violent outbursts:

Yet apart from the reaction on the publications of the Danish cartoons, it is obvious, that for such outbursts, more explanations must be seek

I am of the strong opinion, that those violent reactions, which take place in so many countries, are directly interconnected with the feelings of powerlessness and humiliations, which are being mainly caused by the European military support of the British-American occupation of Afghanistan and especially Iraq.
This is also combined with the decennia-long European political attitude to the Middle-East crisis, which is de jure condemning the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian areas and the Israeli war-crimes and human rights violations, but de facto is maintaining the status quo, by not taking any political or economical measures to pressure on Israel to implement the UN-Security Resolution 242 dd 1967, to withdraw our of the occupied territories and also to dismantle the settlements, which are illegal according to International Law and break down the Wall, which has been condemned by the International Court of Justice dd 9-7-2004, because of cutting through occupied Palestinian area.

This, in combination with the since 11 september 2001 amounted anti-Islam hysteria in Europe, from which the publication of those cartoons are one of the utterings, is leading to those violent protests, which is only being worsened by the provocative attitude of a number of European papers, from which for example the Dutch Volkskrant [literary translared: People’s Paper] is one of the most extreme, by publishing the cartoons two times in a short period.

Denigrated remarks of de Volkskrant:

Not only ”De Volkskrant” was very bigot in her defense of the freedom of _expression by placing the cartoons twice, in an editionary comment ”Geen slappe knieeen” [”No weak knees”, by wich was meant no capitulation for ”religious fundamentalism”, which as so often in the European media is used in a wrong way] she also utttered very denigrating remarks considering the muslim protesters.
So every protest was being ”directed” from ”the authorities”, by which they forgot, that it is highly unlikely, that so many protests in so many countries would be ”put in scene”
Further they called the protests ”opgelopte lucht” [litery ”cooked air”, which means ”of no real meaning and irrational”], which shows a complete lack of respect for the intelligence and think-capacity of the protesters.

Further the Volkskrant also neglected a remark by a French muslimleader, who was comparing the cartoons with the anti-semite cartoons from the 30 years of the former century
Their comment was, that the comparison was not just, because the systematic nazi-propaganda of that time is not to be connected with those cartoons


Yet the Volkskrant is missing a very important point here.
Although there the anti-Islamhysteria is happily not to be compared with the nazi-propaganda from the years 30 of the former century, yet there are comparisons.
For example the Jews were being considered as untrustworthy [the same qualification is given to moslims nowaday in Europe], they would plan an ”international plot to dominate the world” [compare with the generalisation of all moslims with the ”international terrorism”] and they were out to ”destroy the German cultural society” [compare with the muslims, who would ”destruct” ”the democratical European society”]

In my opinion I am also supported by no-one less than the very respected Dutch-Jewish rabbi Soetendorp, who stated that there are a number of comparisons between the anti-semite propaganda in the 30 years and the present European anti-Islamhysteria.

Political signature of the Jylands Posten:

Considering the Jylands Posten, it is perhaps interesting to commemorate, that this paper was in the 20, 30 and 40ths of the former century, a fervent political supporter of the racist-facistic regimes of as well Hitler as Mussolini
Although the past is not to be considered in this, it is being named by me, because nowadays this paper is a very right-wing paper also with ideological ties with the extreme right party in Denmark

Reaction of the AEL [Arab-European League]

The chairman of the Arab-European League, mr D Abou Jahjah, has recently decided, in reaction on the publication by the European media, also to publish a number of cartoons.
The deeper meaning is not only to explore the limits of real freedom ofexpression, by placing certain cartoons, which are a taboo in the European ideological train of thought, but also confont the European defenders of the freedom of _expression, who don´t care about insulting the feelings of muslims, with cartoons, which are shocking to them.

Considering the fact, that the holocaust is such a taboo, he has placed already a cartoon, by which Hitler shares the bed with Anne Frank

Although I can understand the purpose of this and in reactions a possible double standard point of view can be read, I think it is unacceptable to make a cartoon, even for testing this principle, of a genocide like the holocaust.

In that respect also the comparison would have more meanful, when the AEL had published a rabbi, being a terrorist.

I know almost certainly, that that would not be considered als ´´´freedom ofexpression´´, but as anti-semitism.

My other objection however is, that it is better to protest against the publication of the cartoons, rather than to place possible shocking cartoons, but of course that is the responsibility of the AEL-Europe.


Overwiewing the insulting character of the publication of the cartoons and the fact, that the freedom ofexpression has its limits, when it comes to violating of the rights of groups of people, regardless whether they are cultural, national or religious, it would be wise, when the European media would not have pubish them, at least not out of the point of view of ´´defending of the freedom ofexpression´´

In the first place, there is a difference between freedom ofexpression and licence for insult
In the second place, papers have not only their responsibility to bring news as objectively as]they can, but also a responsibility to society in respecting all citizens, also people, who have a different religion and descent
Depicting intentionally cartoons, knowing it will hurt people in their deepest authentic feelings, whether religious or on another part of their identity, lacks the most elementar feeling of respect, which is also a part of the principles of democracy

By this arrogant attitude, only national and world-tensions will escalate, with as a consequence an amount of bitterness on the side of the powerless and already humiliated people in this world

It is time for Western media and a number of anti-religious or anti-Islam intellectualistic publicists, columnists, to show some respect.

Without that attitude, violent outbursts and more tensions will be the answer

I´´ll end to show my respect and appreciation for those European papers, which didn´t publish the cartoon in a senseless obsession with the ´´freedom ofexpression´´

In that respect many European newspapers could learn from the American papers, from which a very little part has published those cartoons

Astrid Essed

The Netherlands


See for the political signature of the Jylands Posten

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor [2006]/Astrid Essed about the publication of the Muhammad cartoons by the Danish paper the Jylands Posten, republished by Charlie Hebdo and other European newspapers

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Just a Perfect Day


ocean waves crashing on shore during sunset

Dear Readers,
One of the songs I cherish is Lou Reed’s ”Just a Perfect Day”Why…….Listen with me and just enjoy……..

Just a perfect day
Drink Sangria in the park
And then later
When it gets dark, we go homeJust a perfect day
Feed animals in the zoo
Then later
A movie, too, and then homeOh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging onJust a perfect day
Problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
It’s such funJust a perfect day
You made me forget myself
I thought I was
Someone else, someone goodOh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging onYou’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow


Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Just a Perfect Day

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Coronameasures and the Grapperhaus Case/Coromameasures of the Dutch government are stupid, unresponsible and dangerous


Coronavirus, Corona, Virus, Pandemie, Infectie

COVID 19…..








BEFORE:As you know, dear Readers, I wrote a Letter to the Editor about the Dutch coronameasures, which I sent to a number of Dutch and Belgian newspapers]

At the request of someone I highly value for her excellent scientific historical work and who has become a valued and dear emailfriend [as I may say so], I sent her my Letter to the Editor.And although she can read Dutch well, I consider it as a special gesture to her,  to translate my Letter in English too.
And I wished to share it with you too.

Astrid Essed

TITLE [As I have emailed it to the papers]
Letter to the Editor
The Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero warned the Senate [aristocratic precursor of the contemporary parliaments] in a number of speeches against a [finally prevented] coup d’etat of co senator Lucius Sergius Catilina.Without having the audacity to compare myself with Cicero, by means of this Letter to the Editor I want to warn against the dangerous Corona policy of this government, that is becoming worse and worse, despite the treath of a second Corona wave.The relaxation of the Corona measures, the socalled Corona trainbook [”Coronaspoorboekje], announced on 6th of may which implied except for the opening of schools and barbershops, the opening of almost the whole Dutch social live like the cafe’s, cinema’s, etc, has turned to be highly dangerous,  because it led [especially in cafe’s] to more and more infections.And to make matters worse, lesser and lesser people followed the necessary coronarules, like social distancing and avoiding  crowded places.And what is the policy of this government regarding those negative developments?Instead of tighten reins more [for example a lockdown of cafe’s and other outbreaks of contamination [like for example cafe’s or perhaps cinema’s], this government does nothing else to declare that discotheques and nightclubs remain closed [that had to be added!] and  ”advising” people to follow the rules [that are violated increaslingly], giving ”advice” to go in quarantaine after visiting countries with ”code orange” [countries with great coronarisks] and an ”advice” to let yourself tested on corona.The political stupidity is, that an ”advice” need not to be followed, but a legal prohibition is binding.Why no mandatory testing at Schiphol Airport, when people return from risk countries and mandatory quarantaine [at Schiphol Airport] when tested positive on Covid 19?Why the GGD [Dutch Healthcare Centre] [1] has no centres where people are going in mandatory quarantaine when tested positive on Covid 19?Then there is a chance to avoid the second corona wave instead of stupid talk about ”own responsibility” and [a quote from prime minister Mark Rutte] ”I am no dictator”This isn’t a  joke!It concerns maybe thousands of people, who can lose their life in the second corona wave, also predicted by some virologists.And what also helps is, that ministers [here mr Grapperhaus, minister of Justice and Security] follow the very rules they have set, in stead being a cry baby in parliament. [2]A minister of substance would have done the right thing, namely resign.No wonder people increasingly don’t follow the coronarules, when ministers, who are responsible for maintaining the rules, don’t care about those rules at all!When this government doesn’t want a pandemia like the Spanish Flu [1918-1919, 38 thousand dead in the Netherlands] it is high time to take strict measures.To save public health and to prevent worse.

Astrid EssedAmsterdam 



Not only in Amsterdam of course, the GGD has centres through the whole country


”In August 2020, Grapperhaus caused a public controversy when news media reported about the lack of social distancing at his own wedding amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands.[9]





After surviving a debate with very critical parliamentarians about him breaking social distancing rules at his wedding, Ferdinand Grapperhaus also wrote a letter to employees of the Ministry of Justice and Security, apologizing for not adhering to the rules that he as Justice Minister is responsible for enforcing.

“I also sent a letter around my department to the people, giving the same accountability as I did in parliament,” Grapperhaus said to newspaper AD. “I did not serve as an example and for that I am very sorry. That this should not have happened with me as Minister of Justice and Security either.”

During the parliamentary debate, which lasted hours on Wednesday night, parliament asked the Minister to ensure that not everyone who gets a fine for violating a coronavirus rule gets that mentioned on their criminal record. Grapperhaus said that he would start working on that. Though he added that people who deliberately and aggressively break the coronavirus rules, such as by spitting in someone’s face for example, should still get that on their criminal record. 





A visibly emotional Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security again apologized for not adhering to coronavirus rules at his wedding during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Wednesday. Despite the criticism against him, he finds he has enough credibility to enforce the coronavirus policy. He did say that he would look into whether coronavirus fines could be kept off of people’s criminal records in some cases.

Photos from the Grapperhaus’ wedding show him not only standing too close to his guests, but also shaking hands and hugging people. “During my wedding, compliance with the coronavirus measures went wrong. I have expressed my regret about this and I am doing that again today to the parliamentarians,” Grapperhaus said. “I didn’t do it right myself. I got caught up in the events of that day.” The Minister was visibly overcome with emotions and had to pause. “We talked about it at home. We said to each other: if only we had done it just the two of us together.”

Parliamentarians from the entire political spectrum raised doubts about whether Grapperhaus could still credibly enforce the coronavirus policy. He believes that he can. “Let one thing be clear: I fully support the corona policy that we have agreed on and implemented with the cabinet and I will continue to propagate that in the future.”

MPs also asked him how citizens should accept fines that go onto their criminal records for breaking the same rules he did. Grapperhaus said that he would look into whether these fines can be kept off of people’s criminal records in some cases. But he wants to keep that note on the criminal record for people who spit in the face of others, are aggressive, and deliberately flout the corona rules, he said.

When asked about waiving the fines, Grapperhaus said that was absolutely impossible. The decision of whether a fine was justified or not lies with the Public Prosecution Service and the courts, and the Minister has no businesses interfering with that, he said. 

As Minister of Justice and Security, Grapperhaus was responsible for enforcing the coronavirus rules. Opposition parties called it scandalous that he then broke the two most basic rules in place to curb the spread of this virus – staying 1.5 meters apart, and not shaking hands. “Making a mistake and standing too close to someone else can happen to us all,” GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said before the debate started. “But shaking hands, you just don’t do it, especially as Minister of Justice. It was the first agreement we made in March.”

The first photo, showing Grapperhaus standing in a group of people, surfaced last week and caused an uproar in the media. A big part of the criticism against Grapperhaus was that he broke the rules, despite the fact that he always stressed the importance of adhering to them and even lashed out at Netherlands residents who did not do so, calling them “anti-social” among other things. 

The union for enforcement officers NBB, whose job it is to fine citizens for breaking the same rules Grapperhaus did, raised this same issue. “The understanding for the corona fine is getting smaller. And the enforcer is noticing this. It is complicated to explain why people can get a corona fine if the responsible Minister himself does not comply with the rules,” NBB chairman Richard Gerrits said to NOS earlier this week.

Grapperhaus eventually apologized, saying that he feels especially bad given he has to set an example as a Minister. He paid 780 euros – twice the amount of the fine for not adhering to the coronavirus rules – to the Red Cross, but was not officially fined. Then on Tuesday, more photos surfaced, showing Grapperhaus shaking hands with people and embracing his mother-in-law.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed support for Grapperhaus on Friday, saying that him violating the coronavirus rules at his wedding does not affect his credibility as far as the Prime Minister is concerned. “Credibility is related to facing up when something is not going well. He is doing that,” the Prime Minister said. 

During a press conference on Tuesday, Rutte did not specifically mention Grapperhaus, but he did talk about social distancing and fines for not adhering to the rules. “The 1.5 meters is always necessary everywhere,” Rutte said about social distancing. “Sometimes difficult to maintain. Sometimes you’ll bump into someone on the street. I really get it. And again, we’re not all perfect. And it is not the case that the police immediately impose fines, it does not work that way. Relatively few fines are imposed.”

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Coronameasures and the Grapperhaus Case/Coromameasures of the Dutch government are stupid, unresponsible and dangerous

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Letter from David Ben Gurion to his son Amos, written 5 october 1937/About the ethnic cleansing of the ”Arabs” [Palestinians]

David Ben-Gurion (D597-087).jpg

Ben-Gurion in 19601st Prime Minister of Israel

Ben-Gurion in 1960
1st Prime Minister of Israel



ETNISCH GEZUIVERDE PALESTIJNEN IN 1948http://www.palestineremembered.com/Articles/General/Story1649.htmlhttp://la.indymedia.org/news/2007/06/201927.php


‘ We must expel Arabs and take their place. Up to now, all our aspirations have been based on an assumption – one that has been vindicated throughout our activities in the country
– that there is enough room in the land for the Arabs and ourselves. But if we are compelled to use force – not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev or Transjordan, but in order to guarantee our right to settle there – our force will enable us to do so. ”


Obtained from the Ben-Gurion Archives in Hebrew, and translated into English by the Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut  


Letter from David Ben-Gurion to his son Amos, written 5 October 1937
Obtained from the Ben-Gurion Archives in Hebrew, and translated into English
by the Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut

5 October 1937
Dear Amos,

I was not angry at you, but I was very sorry indeed that there was no reply from you. I cannot accept the excuse that you have no time. I know you have a lot of work at school, in the field, and at home, and I am happy that you are so preoccupied with your studies. But it is always possible to find free time if necessary, not only on Sabbath days but even during weekdays. Your excuse that I keep moving from one country to another is not convincing. You can write to me in London. Here they [the Jewish Agency office] always know where I am, and they are efficient in forwarding my mail. As to the question of my membership in the executive committee [of the Jewish Agency], I shall explain to you in person if I meet you in Tel Aviv upon my return. Here what I want to talk about is the conflict you are experiencing between your reason and your emotions with regard to the question of the state. Political matters should not be a question of emotions. The only thing that should be taken into account is what we want and what is best for us, what will lead to the objective, and which are the policies that will make us succeed and which will make us fail.

It seems to me that I, too, have “emotions” [quotation marks in original.Hebrew: regesh]. Without these emotions I would not have been able to endure decades of our hard work. It definitely does not hurt my feelings [regesh] that a state is established, even if it is small.

Of course the partition of the country gives me no pleasure. But the country that they [the Royal (Peel) Commission] are partitioning is not in our actual possession; it is in the possession of the Arabs and the English. What is in our actual possession is a small portion, less than what they [the Peel Commission] are proposing for a Jewish state. If I were an Arab I would have been very indignant. But in this proposed partition we will get more than what we already have, though of course much less than we merit and desire. The question is: would we obtain more without partition? If things were to remain as they are [emphasis in original], would this satisfy our feelings? What we really want is not that the land remain whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish [emphasis original]. A unified Eretz Israeli would be no source of satisfaction for me–if it were Arab.

From our standpoint, the status quo is deadly poison. We want to change the status quo [emphasis original]. But how can this change come about? How can this land become ours? The decisive question is: Does the establishment of a Jewish state [in only part of Palestine] advance or retard the conversion of this country into a Jewish country?

My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning.

When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.

We shall admit into the state all the Jews we can. We firmly believe that we can admit more than two million Jews. We shall build a multi-faceted Jewish economy– agricultural, industrial, and maritime. We shall organize an advanced defense force—a superior army which I have no doubt will be one of the best armies in the world. At that point I am confident that we would not fail in settling in the remaining parts of the country, through agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or through some other means.

We must always keep in mind the fundamental truths that make our settlement of this land imperative and possible. They are two or three: it is not the British Mandate nor the Balfour Declaration. These are consequences, not causes. They are the products of coincidence: contingent, ephemeral, and they will come to an end. They were not inevitable. They could not have occurred but for the World War, or rather, they would not have occurred if the war had not ended the way it did.

But on the other hand there are fundamental [emphasis original] historical truths, unalterable as long as Zionism is not fully realized. These are:

1) The pressure of the Exile, which continues to push the Jews with propulsive force towards the country
2) Palestine is grossly under populated. It contains vast colonization potential which the Arabs neither need nor are qualified (because of their lack of need) to exploit. There is no Arab immigration problem. There is no Arab exile. Arabs are not persecuted. They have a homeland, and it is vast.
3) The innovative talents of the Jews (a consequence of point 1 above), their ability to make the desert bloom, to create industry, to build an economy, to develop culture, to conquer the sea and space with the help of science and pioneering endeavor.

These three fundamental truths will be reinforced by the existence of a Jewish state in a part of the country, just as Zionism will be reinforced by every conquest, large or small, every school, every factory, every Jewish ship, etc.

Our ability to penetrate the country will increase if we have a state. Our strength vis-à-vis the Arabs will likewise increase. The possibilities for construction and multiplication will speedily expand. The greater the Jewish strength in the country, the more the Arabs will realize that it is neither beneficial nor possible for them to withstand us. On the contrary, it will be possible for the Arabs to benefit enormously from the Jews, not only materially but politically as well.

I do not dream of war nor do I like it. But I still believe, more than I did before the emergence of the possibility of a Jewish state, that once we are numerous and powerful in the country the Arabs will realize that it is better for them to become our allies.

They will derive benefits from our assistance if they, of their own free will, give us the opportunity to settle in all parts of the country. The Arabs have many countries that are under-populated, underdeveloped, and vulnerable, incapable with their own strength to stand up to their external enemies. Without France, Syria could not last for one day against an onslaught from Turkey. The same applies to Iraq and to the new [Palestinian] state [under the Peel plan]. All of these stand in need of the protection of France or Britain. This need for protection means subjugation and dependence on the other. But the Jews could be equal allies, real friends, not occupiers or tyrants over them.

Let us assume that the Negev will not be allotted to the Jewish state. In such event, the Negev will remain barren because the Arabs have neither the competence nor the need to develop it or make it prosper. They already have an abundance of deserts but not of manpower, financial resources, or creative initiative. It is very probable that they will agree that we undertake the development of the Negev and make it prosper in return for our financial, military, organizational, and scientific assistance. It is also possible that they will not agree. People don’t always behave according to logic, common sense, or their own practical advantage. Just as you yourself are sometimes split conflicted between your mind and your emotions, it is possible that the Arabs will follow the dictates of sterile nationalist emotions and tell us: “We want neither your honey nor your sting. We’d rather that the Negev remain barren than that Jews should inhabit it.” If this occurs, we will have to talk to them in a different language—and we will have a different language—but such a language will not be ours without a state. This is so because we can no longer tolerate that vast territories capable of absorbing tens of thousands of Jews should remain vacant, and that Jews cannot return to their homeland because the Arabs prefer that the place [the Negev] remains neither ours nor theirs. We must expel Arabs and take their place. Up to now, all our aspirations have been based on an assumption – one that has been vindicated throughout our activities in the country
– that there is enough room in the land for the Arabs and ourselves. But if we are compelled to use force – not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev or Transjordan, but in order to guarantee our right to settle there – our force will enable us to do so.

Clearly in such event we will have to deal not only with the Arabs living in Eretz Israel, since it is very probable that Arabs from the neighboring countries will come to their aid. But our power will be greater, not only because we will be better organized and equipped, but also because behind us stands a force still greater in quantity and quality. This is the reservoir of the millions in the Diaspora. Our entire younger generation of Poland, Romania, America, and other countries will rush to our aid at the outbreak of such a conflict. I pray to God that this does not happen at all. Nevertheless the Jewish state will not rely only on the Jews living in it, but on the Jewish people living in every corner of the world: the many millions who are eager and obliged [emphasis original] to settle in Palestine. There are not millions of Arabs who are compelled or willing to settle in Palestine. Of course it is likely that Arab adventurers and gangs will come from Syria or Iraq or other Arab countries, but these can be no match for the tens and hundreds of thousands of young Jews to whom Eretz Israel is not merely an emotional issue, but one that is in equal measure both personal and national.

For this reason I attach enormous importance to the conquest of the sea and the construction of a Jewish harbor and a Jewish fleet. The sea is the bridge between the Jews of this country and the Jewish Diaspora – the millions of Jews in different parts of the world. We must create the conditions that will enable us in times of necessity to bring into the country in our own ships manned by our own seamen, tens of thousands of young men. Meanwhile we must prepare these young men while they are still in the Diaspora for whatever task awaits them here.

I am confident that the establishment of a Jewish state, even if it is only in a part of the country, will enable us to carry out this task. Once a state is established, we shall have control over the Eretz Israeli sea. Our activities in the sea will then include astonishing achievements.

Because of all the above, I feel no conflict between my mind and emotions. Both declare to me: A Jewish state must be established immediately, even if it is only in part of the country. The rest will follow in the course of time. A Jewish state will come.

My warm greetings [Hebrew: Shalom Rav].

When do you return to Kadoorie [agricultural school]? Write to me. Show this letter to your mother and sisters.

Your father



Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Letter from David Ben Gurion to his son Amos, written 5 october 1937/About the ethnic cleansing of the ”Arabs” [Palestinians]

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Allied bombings of German cities during World War II are warcrimes/Letter to the Editor


Dear Readers,
Despite of the heathwave it is important to mention the wrongs in history!I already did it in Dutch [article and Letter to the Editor], but now I wrote this Letter to the Editor about the allied bombings of German cities during WO II,Especially because it strikes me, that even after 75 years liberation of the nazi terror, there are still people, and many of them, who deny the fact that those allied bombings on cities, civilian goals, were forbidden, even in those times! [1]This Letter to the Editor I’ve sent to a number of British, American and German newspapers.Of course I have no idea, whether they publish it or not, so I want to share my Letter with you.See the Letter to the Editor under note 1
Hoping you all stay healthy in those dangerous Corona days.
Astrid Essed

  The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.  




Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor,

Again and again it strikes me, that even after 75 year liberation of the Nazi terror, many people still deny the fact, that the British-American bombings of German cities were warcrimes.Of course there is a story behind this:After the killing of 40 000 British civilians by German bombings during the Blitz [warcrimes of course, but nobody denies that], it was payback time, not only out of revenge, but also to destroy the German economy and war industry.Another motive for lage scale bombing was to break the morale of the German people and the hope they would rise up against the nazi regime.Rather ridiculous, since the deadly air attacks were caused by the Allied forces and the caused destruction was ther sole  responsibility.Therefore it was no surprise, that the German people became more and more hostile to the Allied forces, being the killers of the people they loved.Not only bombings on civilians and civilian goals are morally wrong, even in that time they were forbidden according article 25 of the Hague Convention [1907]Attacks on military goals of course were permitted.Yet bombings on civilian goals took place, as well by the Allied as the Central Powers.Firestorms on German cities and villages, since firebombs were used, with as a consequence, that people burned alive.In 1942, the German city Cologne was attacked with 1000 firebombs and at an attack on the German city Pforzheim in february 1945, 30 percent of the population had been killed.Was the Nazi top hunted and killed?Not at all, ordinary people.Dozens of cities were attacked, Cologne,Hamburg,,Berlin,Dusseldorf,Osnabruck,Kalsruhe,Dessau,,Potsdam and on and on.Deeply morally inferior was the fact, that even in may 1945, when Germany was about to surrender,bombing took place.Not only the bombing of Dresden [february 1945] was a warcrime, all those other bombings, too.More than half million German civilians were killed by those merciless carpet bombings and miliions of people were left homeless.High time to acknowledge that ”the good side of history” committed warcrimes too and not only Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Astrid Essed


The Netherlands

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Eid Mubarak 2020!


To all muslim readers of my website, EID MUBARAK!

Kind greetings/Astrid Essed

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Archie Harrison’s first Birthday!/Lord Archie, Happy Birthday for you and your parents, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!


Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan pose with their newborn son during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019 .https://eu.usatoday.com/story/life/2019/05/08/royal-baby-photos-meghan-markle-prince-harry-pose-newborn/1120765001/

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The Sussexes in South Africa

The Sussexes in South Africa. Credit: PA

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THE ENGLISH ROYAL HOUSE BECOMING BLACK!HAHAHAHAHA!!!!, THE REVENGE OF CHEDDAR MAN!https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/07/first-modern-britons-dark-black-skin-cheddar-man-dna-analysis-revealshttps://www.astridessed.nl/prince-harry-and-his-bride-meghan-markle-congratulations-to-the-duke-and-duchess-of-sussex/https://www.astridessed.nl/a-royal-baby-for-the-duke-and-duchess-of-sussex-lord-archie-welcome-to-the-world/

Today, the 6th of may, is the first Birthday of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, son of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex.It is my great pleasure , from my website, to congratulate Lord Archie and wish him and his parents a Happy Birthday!As also his grandparents.And especially too his greatgrandparents Queen Elisabeth and her husband, Prince Philip  [Duke of Edinburgh]



Astrid Essed 

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Blessed Ramadan 2020!


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Kind greetings/Astrid Essed

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