Saturday, July 25, 2015

Holland: Damage to Israel caused by lack of morality by European officials, including the Dutch government

While I was on a speaking and book promotion tour of the Netherlands, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bert Koenders, was on an official visit to Israel.   During his visit, Koenders instructed his embassy to find a way to express the close relations between his country and the Jewish State. He also voiced his country’s opposition to BDS. 

While cultural exchanges would be a good start, a more affirmative Dutch action against massive diplomatic injustice and damage being caused to Israel in international forums would be far more valuable than an occasional exchange of artists.

Much of this damage is caused by a total lack of morality by European officials, including the Dutch government.   Let me explain.  During my public speeches, I listed egregious cases of cynical Dutch diplomatic decisions that reflected far worse against Koenders’ government than against Israel.

Recently, the Dutch government decided to cut the pension of a 90 year old Holocaust survivor who left Holland to spend her last days with her children and grandchildren in Israel. The reason given for this pension cut was that this lady’s family lived just over the Green Line and not, according to Koenders’ government, in Israel proper. In a talk I gave in the Anne Frank Hall of the Jewish Liberal Center in Amsterdam, I pointed out that, had she survived, that lady could have been Anne Frank. This act was disgracefully shameful from a Dutch government with an appalling record toward its wartime Jews. That it would, today, continue to punish a Dutch Holocaust survivor over its grievance or difference of opinion with the Israeli government is shameful. Victimizing a 90 year old Jewish woman is not way for any liberal democracy to behave.  The shame goes on.

In my talks, I mentioned a recent United Nations vote on children in war zones that condemned only Israel. With a horrendous vote of 104 nations it called Israel the worst violator of children’s rights. Only four voted correctly in defense of Israel. They were the United States, Canada, Australia and Israel.  Notice the total lack of European nations. Not one European country had the moral commitment to say that this decision was wrong. Not one European nation had the morality to vote against that motion, including a Dutch government that so often projects itself as the high moral authority when it comes to Israel.

This pattern was repeated when the World Health Organization named Israel as the worst violator of health rights. Again, no European nation had the courage to object to such a heinous charge. Holland, like all the other cynical European nations, chose to abstain rather than stand for truth and justice. More.

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