Dutch party endorses BDS

Dutch Green Left Party approves boycott of Israel, becoming the first mainstream party in the Netherlands to do so.

Ben Ariel ,

BDS activists
BDS activists
iStock

The Dutch Green Left Party became the Netherlands’ first mainstream political movement to endorse a boycott of Israel, JTA reported on Tuesday.

The endorsement came in a vote on a motion during the February 16 General Congress of the party, which has 14 seats out of 150 in the lower house of the Dutch parliament.

“BDS is a legitimate means to help Palestinians in their fight for justice,” the passed motion said. The motion also states that Green Left “will be alert and resist forcefully attempts in any country to criminalize BDS.”

BDS is the acronym for the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement.

The Dutch Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, which is a Jewish group committed to fighting anti-Semitism and performing Israel advocacy work, condemned the resolution.

“Green Left conveniently ignored how, in practice, BDS goes hand in hand with expressions of anti-Semitism and is linked to terrorist groups,” CIDI wrote, according to JTA.

The Likoed Nederland pro-Israel group wrote in a statement that Green Left “has declared itself a racist movement,” noting that the party has passed no other motions on boycotting Morocco, China, Turkey or Russia – all of which are internationally considering occupying powers.

In 2016, the Dutch parliament passed a nonbinding motion calling on the government to deny funding to organizations calling for a boycott against Israel.

Much like other countries in Europe, the Netherlands has not been immune from anti-Semitic incidents. Just last week, vandals suspected of being soccer hooligans from The Hague painted graffiti, including swastikas and anti-Semitic texts, on buildings in Amsterdam.

Last summer, Dutch police apprehended a man whom they accused of drawing swastikas on the external wall of the capital’s oldest Jewish cemetery.

In January of 2018, police launched an investigation into vandalism at a synagogue and a hospice for people dying of terminal diseases.

A month earlier, a Syrian man waving a Palestinian Arab flag shattered glass at a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam as two police officers and passers-by watched. The officers arrested the man after he broke into the restaurant through the door he had smashed and removed an Israeli flag.

The same restaurant was targeted again in early January of 2018, when vandals smashed the newly-replaced windows. The owners told local media that the restaurant is often the target of such destructive acts, and that they have asked local authorities' permission to place security cameras around the site.



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