Geert Wilders – a right-wing Dutch politician well-known for his anti-Islamic stances – is said to have been the recipient of funding from two pro-Israel organizations based in the United States. As reported by Reuters, the financial input apparently came from a think tank and the founder of an American network of conservative groups.
Daniel Pipes, director of The Middle East Forum who has written numerous columns critical of Islamic fundamentalism, disclosed that his Philadelphia-based think tank provided the funding for Wilders’ legal defense in 2010 and 2011 against charges by the Dutch government that he had incited racial hatred through his public pronouncements.
The Middle East Forum’s website states that its goals are protecting the “freedom of public speech of anti-Islamist authors, promoting American interests in the Middle East and protecting the constitutional order from Middle Eastern threats.” Pipes said that the group transmitted money directly to Wilders’ attorney, criminal lawyer Bram Moscowitz, through its Legal Project.
Wilders was acquitted of the charges in 2010. The case against the outspoken politician and founder of the right-wing Party for Freedom was initiated after he drew a comparison between the Koran and Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic Mein Kampf.
David Horowitz, who operates a network of conservative organizations based in Los Angeles along with a right-wing website called FrontPage magazine, revealed that he paid Wilders a set of fees for delivering two speeches. Horowitz said he also covered the security costs during student protests against Wilders as well as the expenses associated with overnight lodging for his Dutch bodyguards during a visit to the United States in 2009.
A former supporter of Geert Wilders recently informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he had attempted to convince pro-Israel groups in the United States to terminate their backing of Wilders as a result of the Party for Freedom’s support for a ban on kosher slaughter in the Netherlands.