Netherlands parliament move affirms Israel as Jewish State

Large majority of Dutch MPs also urge EU not to recognize unilaterally declared Palestinian statehood.

Israeli Flags 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Israeli Flags 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
BERLIN – Members of the Dutch parliament reinforced the Jewish character of Israel during a session earlier this month, with a parliamentary decision that termed it a “democratic Jewish state.”
The pro-Israel vote resulted in 113 of the 150 parliament members affirming Israel’s existence as a Jewish, democratic state and urging the EU not to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.
According to the parliamentary measure, “the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state will not bring closer a lasting peace, and therefore the Dutch government asks to advance a European (EU) policy that rejects the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and means a European call to the Palestinian leaders to resume direct negotiations with Israel.
Furthermore the Palestinians should work toward a lasting solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that takes into consideration the Palestinian problem and includes the explicit recognition of a democratic Jewish State of Israel.”
The Reformed Political Party, SGP, which is a small Protestant party, initiated the resolution. The measure was co-sponsored by the Christian Democratic Appeal party and the Christian Union, a separate Protestant party. The governing liberal party, VVD, and Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom supported the resolution.
Surprisingly, the Dutch Labor party (PvdA) also threw its weight behind the vote. Traditionally, the Labor party has vehemently opposed Dutch legislation favoring Israel and seeking to combat radical Islamic terror.
“This is another sign that the Dutch finally begin to understand what is at the core of the Arab Israeli conflict,” Yochanan Visser, an expert on Dutch- Israeli relations, told The Jerusalem Post by e-mail on Sunday.
“This motion is encouraging and should be translated in a different policy towards the peace negotiations,” he wrote. “If the Dutch government understands that peace can only come after the Palestinians (and the Arab world in general) finally recognize Israel as a Jewish state, it should start working to make EU funding of the PA conditional on this recognition.”
Visser, who made aliya from the Netherlands in 2000, is the head of the organization Missing Peace.
In late 2009, the Dutch parliament voted to place Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps on the European Union terror list.
In that vote, the bloc of left-wing parties – the Labor party, the left-wing liberal party (as opposed to the VVD), the Greens, the Socialist Party and the Party for Animals – rejected the designation of the Revolutionary Guard as a terror organization. The Netherlands is only the EU country to have passed a resolution promoting an EU ban of the Revolutionary Guard.
Over the years, Holland has consistently reaffirmed Israel’s Jewish character, as well as the threat of a one-state solution altering Israel’s Jewish nature.
Former Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen, now deputy prime minister, said at the 2008 Herzliya Conference that “60 years on, Israel is a modern democracy, founded on the rule of law. Yours is the only country in the Middle East that can genuinely make such a claim.”
He added, “Achieving a breakthrough is first and foremost in Israel’s own national interest. If things continue the way they are, the two-state solution will slowly but surely render itself irrelevant.
Israel would then risk the prospect of one state for two peoples, with a Jewish minority. This, as [former] prime minister [Ehud] Olmert has rightly noted, would compromise the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.”