Communication and Engagement
Edited By Guy J. Golan, Sung-Un Yang and Dennis F. Kinsey
Global Issues & Challenges
Global Issues & Challenges 19. The Public Relations of Populism: An International Perspective of Public Diplomacy Trends JiSKa enGelbert & Jacob GroSheK On April 30, 2012, Dutch parliamentarian and head of the right-wing Par- ty for Freedom, Geert Wilders, gave a speech in the Four Seasons Hotel in New York that was entitled Stifling Free Speech in Europe. By invitation of the conservative U.S. think tank, the Gatestone Institute, and against the background of a large Dutch flag, Wilders presented his four strategies on how “we” ought to “defeat Islam” (Wilders, 2012). Although this language signals both Wilders’ and Gatestone’s shared vision on freedom of speech in the context of criticizing Islam, it also seems to imply a broader alliance of countries: We must reassert our national identities. The nation-state enables self-govern- ment and self-determination. This insight led the Zionists to establish Israel as the homeland of the Jews. Zionism teaches us one of the most important lessons which the modern world needs today. Theodor Herzl argued that a Jewish state would facilitate “a new blossoming of the Jewish spirit.” Today, we need our own respective nation-states to preside over a new blossoming of our own Western spirit. Our nations are the homes in which freedom and democracy prospers [sic]. This is true for the Netherlands. This is true for America. This is true for Israel. Wilders, however, was not in New York as an official or formal representative of the Dutch government. In fact, only nine days earlier his Party for...
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