'This is the Netherlands' was a shot at the USA media, too

Trevor Jackson
January 12, 2018

Reporters at a press conference repeatedly asked Pete Hoekstra, the new USA ambassador to the Netherlands, to comment on his remarks at a hearing in 2015.

He told reporters that Ambassador Pete Hoekstra had apologized for the 2015 remarks in a statement on Twitter in December and also said he regretted telling a Dutch television reporter he never made the comments.

Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands, emigrated with his parents to the United States at age 3 and grew up in West Michigan.

"Any example of a Dutch politician who is burned in recent years?" one reporter asked. "If you are truly an honest and wise man, would you please take back the remark about burned politicians - or name a politician that was burned in the Netherlands?" another journalist questioned. Hoekstra said there is "chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned".

On Wednesday, despite being repeatedly asked at a heated news conference at his residence in The Hague, Hoekstra refused to say whether he still stood by his views.

"I'm not revisiting the issue", Hoekstra said Wednesday.

"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made".

"The Islamic movement is now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos", Hoekstra had said at the November 2015 gathering, during a recorded panel discussion about migration from Muslim states. "I didn't call that fake news", he said. "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands", said Hoekstra while discussing the country's minority Muslim population.

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He later apologized, saying in a tweet on December 23: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview".

Last month, Hoekstra denied making the remarks. "Please accept my apology".

He takes up the post as U.S. envoy left vacant for two years, and as immigration is set to again be a hot-button issue in the Dutch local elections due on March 21.

Hoekstra served as a Congressman from 1993 to 2011.

According to a report from The Washington Post, reporters repeatedly asked Hoekstra to offer proof of his claim that politicians and cars have been burned and that there are "no-go zones" in the Netherlands.

The numbers vary somewhat, but a not-insignificant share of Americans seem to agree with a Dutch reporter's suggestion that the US media is too easy on Trump and his administration.

"And he also plans over the weekend to be available within numerous communities in in the capital, including Muslim communities".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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