Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam, does not have an easy job, but has acquitted himself well:
“In 2005, Cohen was named one of Time magazine’s ‘European Heroes’ for his stand on the murder of film-maker Theo van Gogh in an Amsterdam street by an Islamist in November 2004. Cohen led the city’s people in street protests, calling for unity and tolerance. Since the murder, which saw Cohen himself targeted by the assassin, the mayor has sought to bring together the capital’s immigrant communities to ensure dialogue against extremism, both by and directed at Muslim immigrants, in order to maintain its reputation for tolerance and liberal attitudes.”
He is in the finals for local government’s equivalent of the Miss World pageant: [Hi Catherine!] – the World Mayor 2006 contest.
You can vote for him here.
Stain on my character though it undoubtedly is, I’m not really an avid follower of Dutch domestic politics, and hadn’t heard of Job Cohen until late last year when I read this article in fifth columnist and terrorists’ mouthpiece the Sunday Times. The sentence that stood out was this:
Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam, has tried to build bridges with the Muslim community but, as the country’s highest-profile Jew, he also needs round- the-clock protection
There was no commentary on or judgement of the idea that the Netherlands’ highest profile Jew should need round- the-clock protection; it was just a fact, as though this was natural in 21st century Europe.