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The Public RTV Serves Up A Double Dose Of “Depoliticisation” On The Most Important Christian Holiday

On Easter Sunday, the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV) served us a double dose of “depoliticisation” – with the television show “Politično” (Politically), hosted by former President of the Republic and professor of international law Dr Danilo Türk, and the television show “Intervju” (Interview), where the guest was religious scholar and university professor Aleš Črnič. Both distorted certain facts, which many viewers took as an insult and provocation.

Judging by the reactions on social media, many were particularly bothered when Danilo Türk, on the show “Politično,” said that it was worrying that the nature of the European Union was changing in the wake of the war in Ukraine. “We knew the European Union, even at the time when Slovenia joined it, as a project for peace. It was a peace project, which is now increasingly becoming a war project. Now, after all these different crises, when the EU has stagnated, and internal divisions have been maintained and even deepened, a war orientation is on top of everything, and therefore, we should be worried about the future of the EU,” he stressed, adding that the EU should think about creating a fiscal union and not an arms union.

He does not understand the nature of the EU

Given that Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is an attack on Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and that it also poses a major threat to the very stability and security of Europe as a whole, it is, of course, no wonder that the EU has come to Ukraine’s aid. After all, this is also an attack on the EU’s fundamental values, which undoubtedly include democracy and freedom. And since you cannot fight on the battlefield without weapons, the EU is also making an important contribution to the supply of weapons in this case. The former ambassador of Slovenia to the USA, Tone Kajzer, pointed out that the development of the EU’s defence component followed logically in the wake of the Russian aggression.

“The European Union is, first and foremost, a peace project. From a close economic union, a defence component of the EU will evolve in the wake of Russia’s aggression and the dismantling of the European security architecture. This is perfectly logical and correct,” Kajzer pointed out, adding that we could also say that the former President of the Republic is either misleading with his statements, or simply does not understand the essence of the project of the European Union. International lawyer Dr Miha Pogačnik also believes that Türk has some misguided ideas when it comes to the nature of the European Union. “The EU will never be a fiscal union because the fiscus is tied to sovereignty, and this would lead to the disappearance of the Member States as subjects of international law. That is why the EU is only about harmonisation, not unification, in the area of taxation,” Pogačnik pointed out.

On the show, Türk also noted that Israel enjoys the support of the USA, which, he said, allows it to ignore the United Nations’ resolutions. In terms of the possibility of recognising Palestine, he said that he supports the attempt to find a definitive solution in the short term. “I think that such recognition would even be useful because the thesis of a two-state solution is coming up again,” he said, adding that many who say they support this thesis are not sincere in doing so. “Recognition would give a new dynamic, it would show some courage, it would show a real willingness to support the self-determination of the Palestinian people, and at this moment in time, that would be a good thing, regardless of the war situation.”

He did not show that Russia is destroying European peace

He described Israel’s policy as one of divisiveness, dehumanisation of the Palestinians, and ethical cleansing and wondered whether the international community would finally draw the limits. He believes that recognising Palestine would be a very useful step towards establishing the borders between the countries. Indeed, he said, the double standards that apply to the Russian regime on the one hand, and to Netanyahu, that is to say, to the Israeli Government on the other, are so obvious that we do not even need to look for any arguments for this. “Russia is the subject of extremely extensive sanctions, while Israel is the subject of no sanctions at all,” he pointed out, as if it were Israel that had carried out the attack on the 7th of October, even though it is clear to everyone that the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas was responsible for the bloody massacre, and has even made it clear in statements that it does not regret the murder and the hostage-taking.

Türk’s statements caused quite a stir and brought about a wide range of responses from users who posted their opinions on social media. “What is even more worrying is that he has not shown in any way that Russia is destroying European peace, so the leftist slogans he has been singing to the European Union are completely out of line. Apologia pro vita scelestus”; “Comrade Türk apparently does not have it in his doctoral head that Palestine attacked Israel????”; “RTV Slovenia has become the country’s biggest disgrace. On Easter, we got two interviews with ultra-leftists and enemies of religion.” These are just some of the examples of comments that point to criticism of Türk’s appearance on the national broadcaster. And they are from being the only ones.

On the most important Christian holiday, the conversation turned to Islamophobia

“On the most important Christian holiday, you are going to talk about other religions?”; “I am not religious, but such provocations are quite out of place… Why don’t you do an interview with a drag queen from Metelkova? Asta (the Minister of Culture) has it all under control,” “You’re taking us all for fools … and with our own money,” are just a few of the comments that have also been posted on the social network X, in connection with the announcement that the show Interview with religious scholar and university professor Aleš Črnič will not focus solely on the Christian religion.

Judging by the reactions, many were particularly upset by the part where Črnič spoke about the fear of Islam, which he said was “unfortunately too damn real”. After making it clear that Islam is “as much a religion of peace as it is a religion of violence,” he stressed that, in light of Islamophobia, it is necessary to understand where this fear comes from and why. This fear, he said, is deliberately and directly produced.

“We live in a time of, you could say, of a culture of fear. Policies of fear have been omnipresent for the last decades. The right-wing populisms that are on the march virtually everywhere in the Western world exploit the politics of fear with great skill, they have learnt this, and they do it deliberately,” Črnič said, adding that money and tutors on how to spread fear are coming from the centres (mainly American). In Europe, he said, there is deliberate incitement against different social groups, and he said Muslims are one of the most convenient ones for this, because there are thousands of years of this being the norm behind it. “Fear, of course, as you yourself mentioned, is an extremely important emotion in many ways. And it’s a temptation for politicians to exploit it, of course. Because it is the easiest thing to do, it is the easiest thing to scare people. It is a very old biblical and even older scapegoat mechanism, into which we project all the problems and difficulties of this society and then sacrifice it so that we don’t really have to face the real problems,” he stressed.

“If our ancestors had not been afraid of Muslims, Europe would have been a caliphate, and Šmarna Gora would have had a mosque on top of it instead of a church,” commented former Minister Dr Žiga Turk on Črnič’s claims. “For 600 years, we have successfully saved our civilisation from Muslims because Christian values have held us together. Well, the situation does not seem too great at the moment.”; “It is not fear of Muslims, but fear of their hateful ideology of European domination. It is already happening! Those Muslims I know have nothing to do with it.”; “The guest focused on right-wing sources of fear and instruction. The left-wing sources exist, of course, and they are crazy powerful and successful, more so than the right-wing ones, in my opinion, but obviously, that is not the subject of the conversation.”; “I agree, we live in a time of a culture of fear and intimidation, and this is what Golob is proclaiming publicly about how he is going to remove the Janšaists from all pores of society. Is this not a culture of intimidation, and of one’s own people at that? And so, you came to power with the slogan, as long as it is not Janez Janša, and what is hate speech? Anything that does not praise you – this is a real dictatorship.”

Radio-Television Slovenia will apparently only provide more of the “depoliticised” programme from now on, instead of a public service media, which all households are forced to pay the mandatory contribution for, with a wide range of guests, professionalism in the sense of confrontation of different opinions, or the provision of bare information, without clearly directing the viewers towards a particular point of view by stating it. Many people are therefore no longer surprised by the growing number of people who are unhappy about what is being produced for their money.

Ž. N.

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