King urges people to overcome differences in Christmas speech

The king giving his speech. Photo: Martijn Beekman RVD

King Willem-Alexander called on people to overcome their differences in his annual Christmas speech to the nation.

The king also cited the war in Israel and Gaza several times. “Where once a manger stood and angels sang, there is conflict,” he said. “Deep wounds have been inflicted and peace and reconciliation seem further away than ever.”

“Raising the dykes will not protect us from this,” he said. “And the tensions there, are being felt here as well. Many people are afraid.”

Christmas, he said, is the perfect time to look in the mirror. People, he said, should hold back on pushing their own self-interest and make way for others.

At the same time, he said, contradictions are an opportunity for new solutions. But how we deal with contradictions is all-important, he said. The king emphasised the importance of the democratic rule of law. “There are rules that apply to everyone. These give us something to hold on to and certainty. Discrimination in any form is not an option.”

Making mistakes is human and if we learn from them, we become better people,” he said. “If we would focus our energy on finding solutions, we would achieve so much more.”

“We should not constantly judge each other as human beings but embracing our human nature, and understand our doubts, worries and shortcomings.”

“There is no other country like the Netherlands,” he said. “We make this country together, and it is still one of the very best places in the world.”

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