Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dutch treat

You probably won't be surprised when I say that I understand and agree with this decision. Holland never has recognized territories beyond the Green Line as legitimate parts of the State of Israel, no matter how Israel wants to view or call those territories. The 'argument' given by a spokesperson of the Israeli local authorithy heads ("This is a professional forum ...We are disappointed by the fact that political issues are being involved in this." ) is hogwash, basically. Just as Israel believes it has every right in the world to make the POLITICAL decision to keep on building in the occupied territories, so the Dutch and other Europeans have the right to make the political decision not to support or condone Israel's presence in those territories in any way. It just shows how deep many Israelis are buried in denial, and fail to understand how it can be that countries and individuals who actually are supporters of Israel as a democratic state for the Jewish people have the nerve to make a distinction between Israel proper on the one hand and the occupied territories on the other. Another proof of the state of denial among Israelis (including many people who belong to mainstream Israeli society) is the comment in this article, by a "European Union expert from Tel Aviv University". Not only does he state that the EU "has no de facto stance vis-a-vis foreign and defense policies" (which is absolutely not true; there is a stance, even though that stance is not always expressed or enforced collectively), he also suggests - like so many Israelis - that being critical of the occupation equals being anti-Israeli (in my opinion, the opposite is true). Finally, he names several European leaders with a so-called pro-Israeli stance. One of them (Berlusconi) is considered a corrupt and controversial potentate (Israel deserves and should look for better friends). All the others have on more than one occasion voiced fierce criticism of Israel's policies in the occupied territories. I do consider each of them as a friend of Israel (as I do Mr Verhagen, the demissionary Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Israel hasn't had such a good and a true friend in The Hague for several decades), but if they prove anything, it is that true friends oppose the occupation and the settlements, and don't support or even condone them.

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