21 thoughts on “Catastrophic Dutch State Visit to Israel – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. PM Netanyahu and FM Liberman must be frustrated not to find a Geert Wilders and Uri Rosenthal setting Dutch foreign policy vs Israel. Dutch PM Rutte, a right-wing liberal from VVD, has embarrassed himself by promising Shimon Peres he would block EU labeling provisions on Israeli goods coming from Palestinian territory. Rutte and FM Timmermans (PvdA) are on a three-day visit to Israel and the West-Bank. Major conflicts with Israel are spoiling the Dutch agenda for an even-handed approach to the occupied territories.

    Dutch cabinet isn’t united in its approach towards the I-P issue and Rutte stated as such. He doesn’t want a proxy-war in his cabinet between pro-Israel (VVD) and pro-Palestinian (Labor-PvdA) ministers.

    Post from my diary “Israel Rejects Dutch Balanced I-P Policy .”

  2. Photo is from happier times in a previous cabinet Balkenende IV of Christian Democrats (CDA), Labor (PvdA) and small Christian parties. Bibi Netanyhau shakes hands with former Dutch FM Maxime Verhagen (2007-2010). In 2010 the first cabinet Rutte was installed and Verhagen became deputy PM and minister of economic affairs. This VVD and CDA minority cabinet had parliamentary support of Geert Wilders’ PVV. The populist party of Geert Wilders is doing well in today’s poll numbers and virtually would be the largest party in The Netherlands!

    The last FM was Uri Rosenthal, I considered his foreign policy conform the Likud doctrine and his veto blocked EU human rights policy towards Israel. There are plenty of voices in support of the Palestinian cause, however strange, many persons involved are retired Dutch diplomats, cabinet members and a former Dutch PM Dries van Agt.

  3. Richard, you forgot to mention in your catalogue of recent Israeli blunders how they fluffed it when they were supposed to be greeting France as the saviours from a “bad deal” with Iran. France’s most senior government members (interior minister, finance minister, etc) were supposed to meet their Israeli counterparts for a gala dinner but the Israelis didn’t show. They all cancelled at the last minute. Even after Yair Lapid said he wanted to meet his French counterpart a couple of days previously. Steinitz had to show up an hour late (he wasn’t invited) to try to smooth things over. I don’t know how it was reported in France but only haaretz really gave it any front page coverage in Israel. These guys are so arrogant they think they can just fob France off

    1. I live in France, and I haven’t heard anything about that. It comes after Bibi asked the French Jews to ‘join their homeland’ in front of Hollande and the press last year. Hollande was pretty polite, but afterwards he ‘leaked’ that Bibi wasn’t ‘correct’.
      Don’t ever expect the French to say anything: if they do, they’ll get ‘Vichy’, ‘Pétain’ and ‘Drancy’ smacked back in their head.
      By the way, happy to read you here, Philos. Don’t know if you remember, I used to comment on 972mag, Kaufman ‘exiled’ me for calling Ben Israel/Xyz/I_like_Joe1952 a pathetic liar more than once on the same file 🙂
      You really would be a great contribution as a Mizrahi left-winger expat. Ahlan wa sahlan.

      1. @ Deir Yassin: 972 is useful at times. But one of their columnists, Dimi Reider wrote there that I was allowing myself to be “used” as an intelligence asset (presumably by the Mossad). Noam Sheizaf’s response to me when I complained was entirely unsatisfactory & even contained lies. Lisa Goldman also refused to include my work in Global Voices Israel when she edited it. A bunch of lib Zios with some leftist tendencies.

        I’ve never taken them very seriously since then.

        1. @ Richard
          I’d say that 972mag is a variety of people, I mean even Derfner is writing there….. He just had a spin about Mandela admiring Begin. We know from back “Israel Reconsidered” that to Derfner there was no Nakba and nothing that Israel should eventually apologize for.
          I love Mya Guarnieri’s articles, she’s got a beautiful pen, comes close to poetry sometimes, she has real empathy, and a Palestinian partner :-), but the empathy was there before. By the way, she’s teaching at al-Quds University and was interviewed by Maan concerning the military raid. And Yossi Gurvitz’s articles for Yesh Din are valuable too. And Yuval Ben Ami. But no Palestinians write there regularly, Aziz Abu Sarah hasn’t written there for ages, and Omar Rahman didn’t last long. There are some external writers that are good, and I like Café Gibraltar because it gives some insight into Mizrahi culture, even when this is singing a well-known Arabic song in so bad Arabic that I wasn’t sure whether it was Hebrew or not.
          And the comment section is occupied by Jewish Home-voters, and even worse.

          1. I too like Mya Guarnieri & Yossi is invaluable. But the rest are hit or miss. The lack of Palestinian voices is also characteristic of Open Zion. It’s inexcusable. Even Haaretz does a better job, though not by much.

  4. Holland has long historic ties with with European Jews, especially those who fled Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition. Antwerp and Amsterdam were well known as haven for refugees and all who suffered religious persecution (Sephardi Jews, Huguenots and Pilgrim Fathers). The Dutch benefited from its multi-culturist society, craftsmen and enjoyed an economic boom during the Golden Age and its policy of colonization, naval power and trade without scruples by the Dutch East-Indies Company (VOC). Concentrated wealth within Dutch families has endured to the present day.

    Worthwhile to visit in Amsterdam, the Portuguese synagogue. PM Netanyahu has visited the synagogue during his two-day visit in 2012, thanking the Dutch for its objection to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.

  5. Richard,

    Your post are so, how to say, not having relationship with the truth. If you write this “Bibi…..Turkish ambassador to sit on a kindergarten chair during an official meeting,”. This is not correct at all. Bibi was not involved in this case, it was Dani Ayalon. The Turkish ambassador was sitting in a sofa, not a chair, just that the chair of Dani Ayalon was a bit higher.
    Maybe it is in your interest to put the blame of this case on Bibi and hide Ayalon from his responsibility, but you would be misleading you readers…as always.

    1. @ ilan: Are you claiming that as prime minister he had no responsibility for this insult? Are you claiming that Bibi disapproved of it? If so, can you prove that? Clearly, a PM is responsible for the actions of his ministers, in this case Ayalon. As for how low the seat was, it was quite low & Maariv or Yediot even posted a front page photo with a line marking how much higher Ayalon was from the ambassador. Further, the foreign ministry was so proud of this little trick that they boasted to the press about it, which began an imbroglio that ended with the ambassador recalled to Ankara. If you’re trying to argue that all this was much ado about nothing, clearly the Turks didn’t feel that way.

      As for “misleading,” I’m afraid it’s you with your head in the Israeli cloud miasma who is midled.

  6. Uri Rosenthal Lambasted On His Visit to Israel

    Dutch Jews suffered to the extreme during the Nazi occupation of Holland as towns and cities had kept a perfect registration of all its citizens including religious beliefs. There were many protests in Amsterdam, the strike of February 1941, and at the University of Leiden (film Soldier of Orange). The Dutch have been recognized for their heroism and have many persons listed amongst the Righteous at Yad Vashem.

    There are no voices of reason amongst the commenters to the Jerusalem Post …

    Former Dutch FM: Israel needs to show concern for J’lem-EU relationship

    TEL AVIV (JPost) – Israel could improve the atmosphere of its relations with the EU if it shows it is genuinely concerned with Israeli-European relations, former Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has told The Jerusalem Post.

    “I am sometimes amazed by the automatic, one-sided orientation of Israel toward the US,” said Rosenthal, in the country this week to deliver the Cleveringa Lecture in Tel Aviv.

    “I am a fierce trans-Atlantic protagonist. I am always defending a strong in-depth relationship between western Europe and the US, Australia and Canada. But that doesn’t prevent me from advocating for a more balanced Israeli approach between the Anglo-Saxon countries and Europe.”

    The Cleveringa Lecture is named after Rudolph Cleveringa, who was dean of the law faculty at Leiden University in the Netherlands and on November 26, 1940, protested against the Nazi-ordered dismissal of Jewish colleagues. As a result, he was arrested and imprisoned.

    The lecture is sponsored by the Dutch immigrant organization Irgun Olei Holland and the Dutch embassy. When asked whether he felt Israel received a fair shake in Europe, Rosenthal, who is Jewish and married to an Israeli, said it would be incorrect to say Israel had been “cornered” in the EU, as it had been at the UN.

    [Must read the comments section, Uri Rosenthal declared the enemy of the State of Israel – enjoy!]

  7. And the debate goes on and becomes even more viscious …

    Foreign ministry summons Dutch ambassador over ‘pro-boycott atmosphere’ in Holland

    (JPost) – The Foreign Ministry summoned Dutch Ambassador Casper Veldkamp to protest what it said were “ambiguous” statements by the Dutch Foreign Ministry creating a pro-boycott atmosphere of Israel in the Netherlands. The protest came a day after the Dutch water-giant, Vitens, canceled cooperation with Israel’s water corporation Mekorot because of alleged infractions of international law.

    Israel said vague statements warning of possible legal problems stemming from doing business with Israeli companies working beyond the Green Line – even though there is no legal precedent for that claim – were scaring away companies, who do not want to take any chances.

    A spokesperson for the Dutch foreign minister in The Hague said the ministry did not insist on the termination of the Vitens-Mekorot cooperation, and that the decision was taken by Vitens itself.

    A similar problem is likely to erupt with Britain. As it too issued written guidelines last week warning businesses that economic activity in the settlements entails “legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognized as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory.”

    Love those comments again! Emotions and ignorance make a combustible compound. Where’s Avigdor Liberman when you need him?

  8. The decades long tolerance of European governments to Israeli excesses had more to do with the perceived unconditional American backing to Israel than with the severity of these transgressions. There was the occasional critical lip-service, but the clout of the almighty poodlewagging tail made sure such rare criticisms would always be well-qualified. This attitude — nuclear-capable submarines included — went often against local public opinion but seemed an unquestioned given necessity.

    Bibi could keep lying when he ought to be truthing — and get away with it — but as the song went “You keep losing when you ought to not bet” and last fall he seemed to have gone one bet too far.

    The current visible cracks in what for long seemed a seamless American-Israeli front enables European growing impatience to be a bit more practically expressed.

  9. I suppose arrogance is an aspect of stupidity and Israel has a super-abundancde of arrogance, but some elements of stupidity would be too much even for Israel. I think they were quite smart to miss out on Mandela’s funeral, can you imagine the ONLY Apartheid regime in the world, attending th funeral of the man who brought down Apartheid in Africa? As for the European countries being “Shocked, shocked” that materials to help Palestinians become self-sufficiennt are not getting there, you decide which party is the greater hypocrite.

  10. Surely there is a maintenance/support part of the scanner system contract. The next step for the Dutch would be to refuse parts and service.

  11. The scanner IS being used….but only to scan containers going INTO the Gaza strip, making life even easier for the Israeli’s. Poor, poor bewildered Mark Rutte “But we had the agreement with the Israeli’s in WRITING…” he muttered.
    I enjoyed the whole affair. It pulled the rug from under the Dutch policy of ‘even-handedness’. I am usually not an advocate of Verelendung, but in a way those scanners, even when used, would have functioned to facilitate continued occupation.

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