PM Netanyahu and FM Liberman must be frustrated not to find a Geert Wilders and Uri Rosenthal setting Dutch foreign policy vs Israel. Dutch PM Rutte, a right-wing liberal from VVD, has embarrassed himself by promising Shimon Peres he would block EU labeling provisions on Israeli goods coming from Palestinian territory. Rutte and FM Timmermans (PvdA) are on a three-day visit to Israel and the West-Bank. Major conflicts with Israel are spoiling the Dutch agenda for an even-handed approach to the occupied territories.
Dutch cabinet isn’t united in its approach towards the I-P issue and Rutte stated as such. He doesn’t want a proxy-war in his cabinet between pro-Israel (VVD) and pro-Palestinian (Labor-PvdA) ministers.
(Times of Israel) June 18, 2013 – The [previous] VVD-CDA+PVV government has been labeled the most pro-Israeli Dutch government in history, not only due to the influence of the PVV, but also because of strong pro-Israeli currents in the VVD. Within the CDA, the situation was more complex, with a strong pro-Israeli current in the leadership battling an increasingly strong anti-Israeli current in its constituency.
Dutch-Israeli relations are a constant and very emotional factor in Dutch politics, in both the positive and the negative sense. Following the coalition crisis of April 2012, the Christian Democrats modified their platform, shifting more to the left and adopting a less friendly approach vis-à-vis the State of Israel. This clearly emerged last week, in a plenary debate on the Israeli security barrier. Parliament had been forced to debate the issue, following a public campaign of Christian Democratic `prominent’ and former Prime Minister Dries van Agt, one of Holland’s most notorious anti-Israeli activists.
Several years back, Van Agt established the so called ‘Rights Forum‘, which is basically an instrument for anti-Israeli lawfare in which over a dozen prominent Israel bashers have been united.
There is a disturbing overlap between the board of Van Agt’s `Rights Forum’ and relevant people at the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV), an official advisor of the Dutch Parliament and Government and residing at the Dutch Foreign Office. Some names: John Dugard, a former special rapporteur of the notorious UN Commission on Human Rights, former FM Hans van den Broek and former Dutch ambassador in Beirut Nicolaos van Dam.
The results of this overlap emerged last April, when the AIV published a 47-page advisory opinion on the Middle East peace process, its English version bearing the title “Between words and deeds: prospects for a sustainable peace in the Middle East”. Despite its lofty references to international law and justice, it is nothing but a vicious indictment of the Jewish State; ignoring the Islamic root of the conflict; omitting crucial historical data; denying or omitting the legal rights of the Jewish people in Palestine; and manipulating facts, figures and UN resolutions.
Continued below the fold … 3-Day visit to Israel, Dutch PM Rutte joined by business partners.
(Haaretz) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has canceled a gala ceremony planned for Sunday to inaugurate a new container scanner donated by the Netherlands to Israel’s border crossing with the Gaza Strip, due to Israel’s refusal to view the high-tech machine as grounds for allowing exports from Gaza. High-tech machine was supposed to offer solution to Israel’s security concerns about Gazan exports.
(Volkskrant) – Rutte wanted to officially open a scanner donated by Netherlands near the border with Gaza, but Israel objected. Then it was decided some time ago by the Prime Minister to remove this part of agenda. He did not want to participate in a symbolic opening, his spokesman said.
Netherlands has invested millions in two container scanners to promote Palestinian trade This should enable the Palestinians to export more goods more rapidly, while also promoting the security of Israel. Rutte wanted to open the scanner at Kerem Shalom on the border with Gaza. Israel let him know that exports from Gaza will not be allowed.
(NRC) – Minister Timmermans calls off visit to Hebron due to Israeli interference on his wish to visit the Palestinian sector without IDF guardians.
Minister Timmermans was due this morning to visit the ancient city of Hebron in the Palestinian territories. Israel insisted that the minister would be accompanied by the Israeli army. Timmermans wanted, like other ministers who have visited Hebron, be able to walk without the protection of the Israelis in the Palestinian part.
Because no agreement was reached the visit was canceled, which in turn led to anger among Palestinians. Our correspondent Leonie van Nierop is present at the visit and reports via social media.
(JPost) Feb. 28, 2012 – While Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are stalemated, economic cooperation continues between the two sides with the Netherlands announcing this week it will supply two state-of-the art container scanners to facilitate Palestinian trade.
The scanners are to “promote the economic development of the Palestinian Authority through expanded trade flows, while safeguarding” Israel’s security, according to a joint agreement signed Sunday by Dutch Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp and Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, the coordinator of government activities in the territories.
The first scanner will be installed at the Allenby Bridge to Jordan “as fast and efficiently” as possible, expected within six to nine months, and the second one – possibly at the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza – at a later date.