Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

Dutch government follows Sweden in affirming right to boycott Israel

File photo of an anti-Israeli protest held in the Netherlands earlier this year.
File photo of an anti-Israeli protest held in the Netherlands earlier this year.

The Dutch government has defended the right to boycott Israel, in a rejection of Israeli efforts to outlaw such political activity.

In response to questions from Green Left MP Rik Grashoff on Israel’s threats against human rights defenders active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders said that “statements or meetings concerning BDS are protected by the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

According to Koenders, Israel regularly raises the topic of BDS in bilateral meetings with the Dutch government. The minister said that while the government itself does not support the boycott of Israel, “endorsing BDS falls under freedom of expression.”

The Netherlands is the second European Union (EU) state to publicly state that support for the Palestinian-led BDS campaign should be protected under the principle of freedom of expression. In March 2016, the Swedish foreign ministry affirmed that BDS “is a civil society movement” and that “governments should not interfere in civil society organization views.”

Riya Hassan, Europe coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), welcomed Koenders comments.

“With the Netherlands joining Sweden in defending the right to advocate and campaign for Palestinian rights under international law through BDS, Israel’s attempt to get the BDS movement outlawed in Europe and to bully its supporters into silence has been dealt a serious blow.”

Also Read:

Categories
EUEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
  • peepsqueek

    Europeans need to keep flying the Pan-Arab colors (sarcasm intended), the black, white, green, and red. Individually, each of the four Pan-Arab colors were intended to represent a certain Arab dynasty. The black was the color of the banner of Muhammad and the Rashidun Caliphate; white was used by the Umayyad Caliphate; green was used by the Fatimid Caliphate; and red was the flag held by the Khawarij. It does not make them evil, it just a massive difference in values.

    Definition of caliph : a successor of Muhammad as temporal and spiritual head of Islam —used as a title

    The Arabs and North Africans marching in the picture came to Europe to get away from the all these Arab dictators and totalitarian governments, or did not want to live under religious laws and punishments, or they have fled from terrorism. The ultra orthodox Jews marching have issues far too big to go into on this page. The biggest humanitarian crisis’ and displaced people in the world are in Muslim Countries, and singling out Israel for boycott gets the lions share of attention on this website.

  • peepsqueek

    Addressed by the UN Resolution 242 is the “inadmissability of the acquisition of territory by war.” Some people read 242 as though it ends here and the case for requiring a total Israeli withdrawal from the territories is proven. On the contrary, this clause does no such thing, because the reference clearly applies only to an offensive war. If not, the resolution would provide an incentive for the aggressor. Multiple Arab countries used these occupied territories to attack another country (Israel), and the defender repels the attack and acquires these occupied territories in the process, a false interpretation would require the defender to return the land it acquired to the original occupiers (Jordan and Egypt in this case). That means the aggressors would have nothing to lose because they would be insured against the main consequence of defeat. This has lead to Jordan and Egypt having signed, maintained, and respected a peace treaty they have made with Israel, and Israel has maintained and respected its half of the treaty as well.

    Then the second unambiguous clause calling for “termination of [all] claims or states of belligerency” and the right to live in [peace and security] clause. After this Resolution, not a week went by for decades without an act of Arab terrorism against Israel, followed by the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, fought by the coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel, and they lost. Also the murdering all the Israeli athletes, coaches, and trainers at the Munich Olympics by Palestinians, and then the murdering a bunch of innocent human beings at the El Al terminals in Rome and in Vienna by Palestinians. And the armed Palestinian militants that stormed the entrance to the Great Synagogue of Rome on October 9, 1982, murdering a 2-year-old toddler, Stefano Gaj Taché, and 37 civilians were injured. These are just a few acts of war/war crimes carried out by Palestinian terrorists against unarmed civilian populations that did not gain them any European sympathy, to include all the recent acts of terrorism in the name of Islam in Europe.

  • Vinegar Hill

    Well done Holland. What this response tells the world is that the Dutch are standing up for democratic rights, something that the Israeli government totally disrespects.

  • G. W. Markle

    ~ The Chosen People ~ Why I’m Boycotting Israel…

    There seems to be a great deal of global concern about the boycott of Israeli trade at this time, and this never ending subject of Anti-Semitism, so let’s make something perfectly clear: Zionism is not Judaism. Equating Zionism with Judaism is a misconception that’s been propagated so widely, and for so long, that even many Jews cannot discern the difference. It’s this fantasy of a “Chosen People”.

    Zionism is exactly the same as Nazism when you get right down to it. You can change the label and the characters in the game, but the mindset remains exactly the same: A race of “Imaginary Superior Beings” out to dominate the world through fascism.

    Zionism, and all of these fascist ideologies we’ve seen, is a construct of the psychopathic mind. It is a mental disorder, sick minds in concert with other sick minds, in an orchestra of the criminally insane. It’s an illness that’s infecting the entire world at this point in history, and it’s literally destroying Israel from within, and the rest of the world without.

    Zionism is a parasite, a deadly cancer, hiding behind Judaism and defaming it. It is the root of all this hatred and Anti-Semitism we see in the world today: Another race of “Imaginary Superior Beings”, attacking others, proclaiming their superiority over all of humanity, and screaming “Terrorist” – “Anti-Semitism”, and calling for the destruction of anyone who doesn’t bow down to their ideology.

    Zionists are the true Anti-Semites, out to destroy Judaism, Islam and Christianity, replacing these religions, and global political structure with the Zionist New World Order. They are the true Anti-Christians and Anti-Semites combined. The labels change throughout history, but the mindset behind these ideologies, the sickness, persists. Zionism propagates fear, hatred and division, nothing but darkness.

    There are no “Chosen People”. The worth of a soul will only be measured by how much it has loved, nothing more nothing less. The choice is yours alone. Labels, however they choose to define themselves, will not save you.

  • G. W. Markle

    ~ The Chosen People ~ Why I’m Boycotting Israel…

    There seems to be a great deal of global concern about the boycott of Israeli trade at this time, and this never ending subject of Anti-Semitism, so let’s make something perfectly clear: Zionism is not Judaism. Equating Zionism with Judaism is a misconception that’s been propagated so widely, and for so long, that even many Jews cannot discern the difference. It’s this fantasy of a “Chosen People”.

    Zionism is exactly the same as Nazism when you get right down to it. You can change the label and the characters in the game, but the mindset remains exactly the same: A race of “Imaginary Superior Beings” out to dominate the world through fascism.

    Zionism, and all of these fascist ideologies we’ve seen, is a construct of the psychopathic mind. It is a mental disorder, sick minds in concert with other sick minds, in an orchestra of the criminally insane. It’s an illness that’s infecting the entire world at this point in history, and it’s literally destroying Israel from within, and the rest of the world without.

    Zionism is a parasite, a deadly cancer, hiding behind Judaism and defaming it. It is the root of all this hatred and Anti-Semitism we see in the world today: Another race of “Imaginary Superior Beings”, attacking others, proclaiming their superiority over all of humanity, and screaming “Terrorist” – “Anti-Semitism”, and calling for the destruction of anyone who doesn’t bow down to their ideology.

    Zionists are the true Anti-Semites, out to destroy Judaism, Islam and Christianity, replacing these religions, and global political structure with the Zionist New World Order. They are the true Anti-Christians and Anti-Semites combined. The labels change throughout history, but the mindset behind these ideologies, the sickness, persists. Zionism propagates fear, hatred and division, nothing but darkness.

    There are no “Chosen People”. The worth of a soul will only be measured by how much it has loved, nothing more nothing less. The choice is yours alone. Labels, however they choose to define themselves, will not save you.