Binyamin, Sara Netanyahu arrive in Amsterdam_311.
(photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershon/GPO)
AMSTERDAM – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called the Iranian
nuclear threat “the issue that most concerns Israel” and said that the
Netherlands and Israel “stand together in opposing Iran’s feverish pursuit of
nuclear weapons while declaring its intention to wipe Israel off the
“Nuclear arms in Iran are a threat to Israel, the region and the
world,” he said in a speech in Amsterdam. “Sanctions should be applied to Iran’s
central bank and its oil exports – and they should be applied now.”
Netanyahu to thank Dutch in visit to The Hague
want to thank the Netherlands for its support for strong sanctions on Iran,”
He also reiterated his call to PA President Mahmoud
Abbas to “start negotiations for peace with no preconditions” and lauded the
Dutch Parliament for passing a motion last year calling on the Palestinian
Authority to recognize Israel as the Jewish state. “The persistent [Palestinian]
refusal to accept a Jewish state within any boundaries is the core of the
conflict,” he said.
Netanyahu commended Holland’s wartime record, which
this month became the subject of a heated public debate in the
“The people of the Netherlands can be proud that despite
their small size, they possess the second highest number of Righteous Gentiles
of any country – thousand of righteous who risked their lives and the lives of
their families, their own children to save Jews,” Netanyahu said.
week, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused a parliamentary request to
apologize for the perceived “passivity” of the government-in-exile in regard to
the murder of more than 100,000 Dutch Jews. Dutch politician Geert Wilders
submitted the request on January 4 following a call by two former senior
ministers to offer apologies.
Netanyahu, hosted by the Portuguese
Synagogue and the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), was
greeted by two small groups of demonstrators waiting in the rain outside the
synagogue. One group, led by the pro-Israel activist and Christian pastor Ben
Kok, was waving Israeli flags and signs asking for the forgiveness of the Jewish
people for “persecution of Jews.” The other group consisted of pro-Palestinian
demonstrators chanting “Netanyahu, go away,” with one demonstrator waving the
Hamas flag. Both groups were a few dozen strong.
On Thursday Netanyahu is
scheduled to meet in the Dutch parliament with Prof. Johan van Hulst, a
101-year-old man from Amsterdam who saved hundreds of Jewish children during the
Holocaust. Van Hulst is a former senior politician for the Christian Democratic
Appeal, a coalition partner in the current Dutch government. Netanyahu will
present him with a copy of the bible and thank him for his actions.
meeting Netanyahu as a resistance man, not as a politician, so I’ll keep off
politics,” Van Hulst told The Jerusalem Post
. “I will tell Netanyahu that I know
exactly what problems Israel faces and that I wish him and his government the
Van Hulst saved more than 500 Jewish children as the director of a
religious Protestant seminary, HKS, smuggling them to safe houses outside
Amsterdam through his seminary. He was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations
in 1972 by Yad Vashem.
“I have heard various people comparing Israel’s
actions to those of Nazi Germany,” he said.
“It is shameful. Israel has
made some mistakes in its treatment of the Palestinians, and those mistakes are
examined through a magnifying glass.”Bloomberg contributed to this