Sunday, June 21, 2015

Netherlands: Muslim, Leftist opposition to Amsterdam-Tel Aviv twinning

Via Elsevier, Republiek Allochtonie, EO:

The city of Amsterdam will probably not be twinning with Tel Aviv, due to strong opposition in the city council.

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan (Labour) considered the idea last year, but it was put on hold due to the Gaza War.  This year the proposal added Ramallah as well, to satisfy both sides. 

The twin-city agreement was supposed to encourage cooperation in the fields of economy, cuture, education (and in the case of Tel Aviv also gay and transgender policies).

But when the issue was brought up in the city council, the Socialists, Labour, Greens and Party for the Animals opposed it

The Socialists oppose the plan because "It's not easy to separate Tel Aviv from the rest of Israel".  Fraction leader  Daniël Peters  denies that the pro-Palestinian (Muslim) protests influenced his party and says that he was more influenced by the (pro-Palestinian) Jewish group Een Ander Joods Geluid (A Different Jewish Voice)

Moroccan organizations also opposed the idea.  In a letter sent to the city, they said that the city is constantly telling the Moroccan community not to import the Middle East conflict to Amsterdam and to remain calm and so they ask the city not to increase tensions.

They also added that they do not see what it's such a high priority to go through with this agreement, and instead the city should focus on fighting racism, discrimination, Islamophobia and antisemitism.

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