Dutch Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp says that while peace with the Palestinians would benefit both sides, Israel has the most to gain in international sphere.
Veldkamp put pressure on Israel to halt settlement development and push forward in negotiations with the Palestinians in an interview with Army Radio that aired on Tuesday morning.
If a deal is reached, “the European Union is likely to support the appointment of Israel to the UN security Council, and foreign embassies would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” he said.
Veldkamp also warned that the status quo of stagnation bodes badly for Israel.
“World opinion will favor the Palestinians as long as there is no progress in the negotiations,” he said. “When there is no progress, people feel the need to take sides. In this case, there is an almost automatic tendency to identify with the underdog, which is how they see the Palestinians.”
Although Israel and the Netherlands are generally on friendly terms, the last few months have seen some movements by Dutch companies against the settlements.
The Dutch water giant Vitens has ended a joint initiative with Israeli company Mekorot, which works in the Palestinian territories, and other businesses have pulled funds from Israeli initiatives as well.
Veldkamp added that The Hague does not support boycotting Israel, but it does discourage trade relations with the settlements, which are considered to be against international law.
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