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Holland Puts Hole in PA Statehood Plans

Holland has thrown cold water on the Palestinian Authority’s revived plan to seek statehood through the United Nations.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/4/2011, 12:18 PM / Last Update: 7/4/2011, 12:26 PM

Holland has thrown cold water on the Palestinian Authority’s revived plan to seek statehood through the United Nations. “It will not be supported by the Netherlands," Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal, told reporters at a press conference after a meeting between him, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Abbas, while ostensibly seeking statehood through negotiations with Israel, began globetrotting immediately after he succeeded Yasser Arafat six years ago and has gained support for recognition of the PA as a country based on all of its demands, without compromise or talks with Israel.

He has approximately a dozen Latin American countries in his pocket, along with Muslim countries, but his expectations of European Union support are proving to be exaggerated.

Holland’s rejection follows the refusal of France, a constant supporter of the Palestinian Authority, to categorically support Abbas’ effort. French officials have held out nothing more than the possibility of backing a vote for the PA in the United Nations in September.

The European Union countries that might be prepared to back Abbas are Sweden, Spain and a handful of other nations, but it is far from certain that they will buck the official EU policy of seeking the resumption of “negotiations” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Abbas has used the term to mean sitting down with officials in the Netanyahu government on condition that they accept his demands for borders based on the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines, a freeze on all building for Jews in Judea and Samaria as well as areas in Jerusalem claimed by the PA, and the immigration of several million foreign Arabs into Israel.

He also has rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that the PA recognize Israel as Jewish state, a definition that would contradict the proposed Arab immigration, which would eliminate a Jewish majority in Israel.

Despite the Dutch rejection of Abbas’ plan for U.N. recognition, Holland’s legislators welcomed him warmly – except for the small Reformed Political party and Geert Wilder’s Freedom party, both of which boycotted him.

Several legislators who participated in a discussion with Abbas criticized him. “Abbas avoided answering my questions about Palestinian terrorism. I think he’s a typical Arab leader who can have two faces, who can be very friendly to the west, and to the Arab world can be very militant,” said. Joel Voordewind, a parliamentarian from the Christian Union party.

On the other hand,  Labor legislator Frans Timmermans, stated, "I think he’s been very clear on all these issues, and I’m really getting sick and tired of this increasing level of propaganda with these nonsense stories about what Abbas said, or did, or didn’t do or didn’t say."