Senior Dutch TV official resigns over suspected anti-Semitism

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – A senior official at a new right-wing Dutch public television station resigned on Wednesday after reports linking him to anti-Semitic propaganda.

Taco Dankers, head of the supervisory board of Ongehoord Nederland (Unheard Netherlands), resigned after the NRC daily said he ran a think tank that encourages plots against Jews and made anti-Semitic comments in interviews .

The populist channel, described as a Dutch version of Fox News, is expected to join the Dutch public television system in January 2022.

Dankers said he was leaving because “a controversy has erupted around me” and “my stay would undermine the broadcaster’s important mission”.

“I don’t see myself in the image the press paints of me and I distance myself in the strongest terms of anti-Semitism, racism and statements that lead to polarization, discrimination and hate speech “, he added.

The NRC reported on Tuesday that Dankers headed Gefira, a radical right-wing group which claimed that mass migration to Europe was a Jewish plot to “dilute” the West and that Jews were responsible for it. ‘much of the slave trade in the Netherlands.

Dankers also gave an interview in 2017 to a far-right American magazine in which he promoted a common conspiracy theory that “the Rothschilds and the Jews (push) a program” of mass immigration, the NRC said. .

Dutch national anti-Semitism coordinator Eddo Verdoner called for “consultations” with prosecutors on the issue.

He said a recent newsletter published by Gefia was “full of sheer hate.

“It’s a manifesto that could have come straight out of WWII.”

Dutch public broadcasting system NPO said it was “shocked” by the allegations about Dankers.

“Anti-Semitism and racism have no place in public broadcasting,” NPO said.

Ongehoord Nederland says he aims to disseminate “unheard of” opinions, including those which are “dismissed as populist on the basis of political correctness”.

He already has more than 60,000 subscribers on YouTube.

The channel is expected to receive 3.6 million euros in public funds, NRC newspaper reported.

The media said he was aligned with the views of the far-right PVV party of Geert Wilders and the Forum for Democracy party of skeptical politician Thierry Baudet, described as “the Dutch Trump.”

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