King Willem-Alexander Calls for Bridging Differences in Christmas Speech

  December 25, 2023 at 8:40 am by

If the major world problems exceed our strength, we can at least ensure that we live together peacefully in our own country. King Willem-Alexander said this on Monday in his annual Christmas speech fromthe White dining room of Daniel Marot in Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague. In his Christmas speech, the king emphasized several times the importance of bridging differences. He believes that “a hard culture of settlement makes our world inhospitable”. According to the king, “many have the idea that we are losing each other. You sometimes no longer understand what drives others. So close, and yet often strangers to each other.” “We have a democratic legal order in the Netherlands. Intimidating, threatening and insulting people is outside that order. Anyone who chooses to do this degrades themselves and damages our community,” the king said. Yet the monarch is hopeful. “Bridging opposites is our strength. That means opening yourself up to listen and giving space to others,” he said. “There is no second Netherlands. We form this country together. And it is still one of the very best places in the world.” The future is made “habitable” by “people who, based on their personal ideals or beliefs, are committed to bridging contradictions and contributing something positive to society”. The monarch referred, among other things, to the situation in Gaza to indicate that peace cannot be taken for granted. “Where once stood the manger and the angels sang, people are now fiercely opposed to each other. Deep wounds have been created and peace and reconciliation seem further away than ever.” “The shock waves throughout the world also reach us here. No dike raising can protect us against them.” According to Willem-Alexander, peace is “not a leisurely rest. Peace is the ability to make conflicts manageable.”

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