Czech President Miloš Zeman, it was recently said, is "a world leader guided by principles, a man not only knows right from wrong, but has never been afraid to voice it. " Known for his longstanding support for the US, Israel and the Jews, he was the only European president publicly to support then-candidate Donald Trump before the US presidential election.
The historical relationship of Czechoslovakia, later the Czech Republic, towards Israel is most likely based on when the Czechs were overrun by Hitler in 1938, and learned the hard way that "appeasement never works". Zeman defends the Czech presidents' motto: "Truth prevails".
A Euro-federalist and leftist, Zeman became known to the public in August 1989, three months before the Velvet Revolution, thanks to an article, "Prognostics and Perestroika." In it, he criticized the totalitarian Czechoslovak régime at that time:
"The stolen future was not shared by a society which was not planning for itself but for which plans were being made.... Current events have already proven that long-term [economic] lagging has not contributed to the prestige of socialism. Also not contributing to it is a persistent unwillingness to admit its own responsibility for this lagging... There is nothing antisocialist about criticizing the incompetence of an uncontrollable power. On the contrary, there is nothing socialist about tolerance or even support for that incompetence."
Thanks to this article, he was not only fired from his job, but in August 1989, was also invited to appear on the television show Economic Notebook, where he said:
"For the past forty years, we have dropped from tenth place in the world to around the fortieth. In some areas, even worse. For example, in the development of science and technology... we are today roughly at the level of Algeria or Peru, and far below Portugal, which is considered the most undeveloped country in Western Europe ... I explain this development by [the government's] having taken economic decisions that were casually accepted; there was no sound competition of alternative ideas, and even ideas that would have extremely cautious consequences were taken without any evaluation of their effectiveness."
The ability of a chess player and the formulation of non-conformist attitudes, subsequently guaranteed his popularity to the general public. He was elected prime minister from 1998-2002, and in the first direct elections in 2013, he was elected president of the Czech Republic.
As a leader from "Western civilization", he has, as in the "clash of civilizations," long fought for women's rights, and equality for everyone. This stance has made him a natural "anti-jihadist" who, politically incorrectly, declares the entire Islamic civilization "anti-civilization":
"While it is possible to agree to a ban on driving a car, in all other cases, Islamic anti-civilization unjustifiably makes women a discriminated minority and their free development impossible."
He has also said:
"A Muslim can be defined as a Quranist, like a Nazi can be defined as a believer in racial superiority and anti-Semitism or a Communist like a believer in the class struggle and dictatorship of the proletariat.
"I think we can coexist with Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Confucianism, but we cannot coexist with Islam. It has anchored in its sacred texts that it must rule the world and have unbelievers submit.
"The enemy is the anti-civilisation spreading from North Africa to Indonesia. Two billion people live in it and it is financed partly from oil sales and partly from drug sales."
Zeman is equally politically incorrect in criticizing his own nation. In a speech in Slovakia, in February 2016, he said:
"In the Czech Republic there is, for example, a Vietnamese community [about 80,000] which has assimilated marvelously. Their children are studying at universities; they speak perfect Czech. The Vietnamese are – and now I am committing an insult to my own nation – the Vietnamese are more industrious than the average Czech citizen. Why not admit it, when it is the truth? About 110,000 Ukrainians live here. And they are hard-working, they have overcome the language barrier, they have integrated very well into the [greater] society. The Slovaks I do not count, because I consider them 'our people'. Thus, we are not xenophobic.
"Five percent of the Czech population are foreigners who are integrated into our society. But when it comes to the term 'migration' we forget one adjective: and that is 'Islamic migration'. Political correctness, my friends, is synonymous with a lie. If you want the unspoken truth, Islamic migration is not possible to integrate and is not capable of being assimilated into European culture."
Ranked first among the biggest problems for the Islamic world, by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, according in its 8th OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia of May 2015, was, "Deploring Czech President Miloš Zeman's Statement against Islam". Second was, "To conduct on-the-ground Post-Charlie Hebdo Inquiries".
"I will not be calmed down by statements that it [Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting] is only small marginal groups. I believe, on the contrary, this xenophobia and this racism or anti-Semitism stem from the very nature of the ideology on which these fanatical groups rely..."
At another conference in 2015, he stated:
"You know the famous slogan: Ich bin ein Berliner. Now, we all must say, I am a Jew. Your discrimination is our discrimination. Your victims are our victims. But our society is too hedonistic, too consumption-oriented, and there is the cowardice and appeasement..."
Zeman's attitude is close to that of the "father of Singapore",Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015), the great statesman and founder of modern Singapore, who said:
"I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam.... After 40 years of patchy economic development, many Arabs feel anger and humiliation that their once glorious Islamic civilization has been diminished by the West, especially America, and corrupted by its licentious culture... Muslims want to assimilate us. It is one-way traffic and they have no confidence in allowing choice."
The foreign policy of the Czech Republic has its own global specificities. In addition to strongly-held pro-Israeli attitudes, it also holds a similar position toward Syria, the US, and EU countries.
Pictured: Czech Republic President Milos Zeman (left) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Israel on October 7, 2013. (Photo by Kobi Gideon/Israel GPO via Getty Images)
Syrian President Bashar Assad, speaking of the relationship between Syria and the Czech Republic, said:
"So, concerning the Czech Republic, I can say that our relations were not very good before the crisis, but during the crisis it was shown that it had a much clearer vision than other countries.... it was able to see, analyze, and understand what is actually happening, and by so doing, be more objective than other European countries..."
The Czech Republic Ambassador to the United States, Hynek Kmoníček, added:
"Bashar Assad said that his relations with the Czech Republic were originally quite bad... but in the end, it seems that Bashar Assad has moved to the Czech position and the EU will move too".
Zeman sometimes seems to have his own global policy. He was the only president of an EU member state who visited Moscow during the "Victory parade for the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II". He also, in a TV interview during his visit to China in October 2014, said:
" We do not teach market economy or human rights or something like that. Conversely, we try to learn. And I am in China to learn how to increase economic growth and how to stabilize society..."
In a Christmas speech in 2015, during a discussion with uncritical "welcomers" of about 45 % of refugees in a migration wave of 1.2 million economic migrants, predominately from the Islamic world -- and which included hundreds of jihadist terrorists -- Zeman said: "This country is ours. And this country is not and can not be for all."
Again, in a Christmas speech in 2016, he said:
"In my opinion, much of the guilt lies on the current leadership of the European Union, which is totally incompetent, bureaucratic, causing the alienation of European citizens from European institutions and is even unable to fulfill a fundamental task such as the protection of the external borders of the European Union...
"I know that in the context of international tension, there are sometimes attempts to censor the internet... one who prevents others from expressing their arguments merely proves that he himself has no arguments... We do not need censorship, we do not need an ideological police, we do not need a new press and information office if we are to continue living in a free and democratic society..."
Zeman describes Islam with the same raw truth as he translates into Czech the name of the band "Pussy Riot": like a "woman's genitals" -- not the politically correct "kitty".
Zeman has warned of the willful blindness to Islamism's "sharia-apartheid ideology," similar to what former US federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy described for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2016, when he said:
"From the standpoint of American national security, it is irrelevant whether there is a true Islam. What matters is that there is a sharia-supremacist construction of Islam to which millions of Muslims have adhered for centuries...They are supported by centuries of scholarship and scriptural literalism. We are not going to convince them that they are wrong... They do not care what American politicians and commentators think about 'the true Islam.' They judge themselves by their own civilization and culture principles – just as we in the West do by ours...
"Sharia supremacism, their interpretation of Islam, is not a religion as we understand religion. It is political radicalism with a religious veneer. Sharia supremacism is virulently anti-Western, misogynist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic. It rejects basic tenets of Western liberalism, including the power of people to chart their own destiny and make their own laws in contravention of sharia. It rejects individual liberty and equality. It brooks no separation between spiritual life and civil society. It endorses violent jihad to implement and spread sharia. And it regards the United States, closely trailed by Israel and Europe, as the principal enemies of Islam that must be defeated. That is something we desperately need to understand and highlight, not obscure and avoid...
"In 1996, I was awarded the Justice Department's highest honor for proving the nexus between (a) jihadist commands in Islamic scripture, (b) their exploitation by sharia jurists like the Blind Sheikh, and (c) the commission of jihadist atrocities by the young Muslims he inflamed. Today, to say aloud what the Clinton administration honored me for twenty years ago, is to be ostracized as an Islamophobic bigot. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, that is no way to protect our country. "
"Truth prevails", on the presidential flag, seems to guide Zeman. He appears to be ambitious to find a worldwide "truth vaccination" against the hypocritical political correctness of both the current "bureaucratic and incompetent" EU leadership, and a "jihadistic and radical" Islam. So far the only serious infectious disease that seems to have been completely eradicated is smallpox, also achieved by a Czech, Karel Raška, who was awarded the Edward Jenner medal.
With increasingly louder calls for the reform of the EU, if not its total dismantlement, one might do worse than to listen to what another father of a modern country, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, once said:
"I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea... My people are going to learn the principles of democracy the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will, every man can follow his own conscience provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow men... He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap."
Josef Zbořil, Ph.D., is Czech blogger advocating "SMART permanently sustainable free society with citizenship 4.0."