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June 27, 2022



Czech MP says his assistant's remark that refugees could be killed with machine guns does not bother him

15.7.2019 12:36
Czech MP Jaroslav Foldyna (left) at an assembly of the pro-Putin motorcycle gang the
Czech MP Jaroslav Foldyna (left) at an assembly of the pro-Putin motorcycle gang the "Night Wolves", intimidating human rights activist Martin Uhlíř. (PHOTO: Archive of

"Friends, if we don't find the courage to sink the NGO boats and lock up the smugglers for their organized trafficking, then nothing will ever change. Europe, wake up!!!" posted Czech MP Zdeněk Ondráček (Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia - KSČM) to his Facebook profile recently.

We probably should not expect anything else from this MP, who is infamous for having participated as a police officer in the violent repression of demonstrators in Czechoslovakia in 1989, but the idea to sink the NGO boats that have been saving hundreds of refugees' lives annually is not unique to him. If I recall correctly, similar comments have been made here by Czech President Miloš Zeman, by Milan Chovanec (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD), by Tomio Okamura and other politicians from the Fascist hatchery here.

Mow down the refugees with a machine gun 

Michal Kraft, assistant to Czech MP Jaroslav Foldyna (ČSSD) has now done them one better, as the Deník N daily has discovered - he has published a text calling for boats rescuing refugees to be shot at with machine guns:  "The first step must be the immediate cessation of immigration. Even if the current European political representation is doing their best to allege that such a thing is impossible, in reality it can be dealt with quite quickly. With just a few helicopters and fast boats armed with machine guns and cameras, it would be a mission that would take just a few weeks - a month at the very most -  and the budget would be negligible. Locating the boats with migrants and sinking them is a trivial affair from a military perspective, it could be conceived of as an exercise for first-year cadets of military academies. Similarly, it is not a problem, by using today's information technology, to disseminate the information throughout the Third World that any attempt to enter Europe will end in death. This solution is even feasible without breaking international law. In that respect, however, I'll keep the exact details of the approach to myself."

This piece was attributed to an author named "Walter Kraft", but Foldyna has of course confirmed that it was his assistant, Michal Kraft, who is the author. Foldyna said he disagrees with these calls for murder, but will continue to consult with his assistant about other issues.

"Shooting those people, no. Taking them off the boats, sinking the boats and arresting the crew, that certainly should be done," the Social Democratic MP said.

Kraft has also said he believes that immigrants and Muslims who have already made it to Europe should be deported just as the Germans were expelled from postwar Czechoslovakia, and that even immigrants and Muslims who have already received citizenship in European countries should also be expelled. Jan Moláček, who is a commentator for Deník N, said that Kraft's piece, entitled "Is the future of Europe Islamic?" was published several days ago on the web page of the "Czech Society for the Study of Civilization".

"Despite its name, that is not an academic institution, but a group promoting conspiracy theories according to which migration into Europe is actually an Islamic invasion. It was established by the sociologist Petr Hampl, one of the most famous faces of the anti-Islam, xenophobic scene in the Czech Republic, along with Martin Konvička," Moláček writes.

"In addition, other famous advocates of similar opinions figure in that group, such as Petr Žantovský, Benjamin Kuras or Michal Semín," Moláček notes. This is an infamous group of people who have also been active around the Akce D.O.S.T. initiative.

For the most part, these people are ultra-conservatives who are carrying on the ideology of the Czech prewar Fascists in their thinking - their diction is also reminiscent of the year 1938, when the so-called Second Czechoslovak Republic came into being and cultivated Fascism here in practice. Žantovský is an old former member of Czechoslovakia's "normalization" structures, a famous collaborator with the communist regime who has managed to rise to the top in any regime.

Kuras apparently has the impression that, after converting to Judaism, he must define himself in opposition to Musims - the Nazis don't bother him, though. Semín is a religious, ultra-conservative fanatic.

Dehumanization of immigrants and Muslims

According to Jan Charvát, an expert on extremism at Charles University's Faculty of Social Sciences, Kraft's writing is forcefully dehumanizing immigrants and Muslims. "The dehumanization of the enemy facilitates the use of techniques against them that we would not use under normal circumstances - in this case, shooting at boats and the subsequent across-the-board persecution of all Muslims and their deportation from Europe," Charvát writes.

Kraft calls for the principle of collective blame to be applied to Muslims. "The principle of investigating the guilt of each individual can just be applied in the case of criminal actions, but it is not possible to proceed that way during war. Anybody wearing the uniform of the enemy is a legitimate target in war. We are at war," Kraft writes.

"This conviction that 'we are at war', this dehumanization, is a basic building block of the ideology of all terrorist groups, beginning with the Red Army Faction and ending with the so-called Islamic State... This is yet another text that is pushing the Czech public debate away from rationality and toward demagoguery, toward legitimizing violence," Charvát says.

Deník N reports that they also briefly spoke by telephone with Kraft. "What I wrote there is what I think. I stand by every word," he confirmed to them.

Kraft then asked to see the rest of the interviewer's questions in writing. Deník N sent him an e-mail with these two questions:

1) Do I understand correctly that you are calling for the massacre of unarmed persons who have not committed violence or anything like it?

2) Does this mean that a citizen of the Czech Republic who is of Syrian origin, for example, should be stripped of his citizenship, persecuted and then violently deported even though he has not committed any illegal acts?

"You are asking whether I am serious about what I am writing. The answer is that I seriously mean to say exactly what I have formulated, not what anybody else formulates," Kraft answered.

Foldyna's xenophobic profile

Foldyna's profile as a xenophobe rather demonstrates that he probably secretly agrees with his assistant - but even if he actually does disagree with him, to even be associated with such a person seems to indicate that Foldyna should be excluded from any party that is democratic. Here are some other examples from his record:  First of all, Foldyna has repeatedly made light of the Holocaust victims of Romani origin here.

He lied on television about the memorial at Lety (a former concentration camp for Romani people) when he alleged that it would cost "billions" to make the site dignified by removing the industrial pig farm that is there. He literally said the following:  "We are buying out some pig farm, we will build some kind of mausoleum there that will cost billions."

When a moderator admonished him during another of his crusades against Holocaust victims of Romani origin and told him he should show some respect, he answered: "Respect for what?" Several years ago he also spoke at a demonstration in the town of Rumburk and incited the people who had gathered there against the Roma.

For that reason, among others, the demonstrators, including neo-Nazis who were present, set off to find Romani people so they could intentionally physically assault them. Police had to intervene on that occasion against the mob that assembled outside of a building occupied by Romani tenants.

Foldyna has told lies about Romani people many times and has generalized about their alleged behavior. The Social Democrat has done all of this in the same way - or in an even worse way - as Tomio Okamura does it, or as the chair of the neo-Nazi Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS), Vandas, does it.

He commented on the murder of 8 000 unarmed Muslims at Srebrenica, which was ordered by the Serbian commander Mladić during the Bosnian war of the 1990s, by saying:  "Naturally that was a crime, but I believe both sides bear responsibility for it." Foldyna has even said that he believes it was the Muslims, not Serbian nationalists, who perpetrated the explosion and shootings in Sarajevo (at the municipal market) during that conflict.

Foldyna also likes to join the trips taken by the Night Wolves, a pro-Putin Russian motorcycle gang who are infamous for their violence, including murders, and for their grim nationalism. Even though all this is public knowledge, it did not stop MP Radek Vondráček (for ANO), the President of the Chamber of Deputies, sending Foldyna in his place to address the commemorative ceremony at the concentration camp memorial at Terezín this year.

Now Foldyna is saying he sees no reason to take any action about his assistant's writings:  "It doesn't bother me, it's his affair, I didn't write it." We'll see whether it at least bothers the leadership of the ČSSD - that is, if they still honor the values on which they were originally based.

František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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