of Palestinian Issue Increasing in Holland
By Khaled Shawkat,
IOL Netherlands correspondent
April 21 2002
THE HAGUE, April 21 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - An upcoming
lawsuit against the Dutch government that broke Dutch law
and constitution in its military cooperation with Israel could
be a sign indicating an increasing impact of the Palestinian issue
in the Netherlands, especially with the appearance of the Palestinian
issue in the Dutch elections speeches.
In an interview with IslamOnline, Benji DeLevi, head of the committee
of defending the Palestinian people, Palestina Komite, said that
his organization will take its protest against the Dutch governments
attitude toward the Palestinian issue to court, by filing a lawsuit
against the government.
DeLevi, who is also Jewish, said that the Dutch government has
been breaking the law for more than five decades in many ways, including
selling highly developed weapons to Israel to be used in deterring
actions against the Palestinian civilians in refugee camps and occupied
The U.S.-made Apache airplanes used by the Israeli army in
its last campaign in the West Bank and Gaza to destroy homes and
kill civilians are functioning with an electronic systems made by
known Dutch companies that sold it to Israel with the approval of
the Dutch government, he added.
The Dutch cabinet resignation over a report on the 1995 Srebrenica
massacre was one of the most important elements encouraging the
committee to condemn the government on a higher level, as there
is no difference between the Palestinian civilians killed by the
Israeli soldiers in Nablus and Jenin and the civilians killed in
Srebrenica, DeLevi said.
The government that was condemned for not protecting Bosnians
is also blamed for facilitating the mission murders in Palestinian
territories by providing them with weapons, regardless of the fact
that the Dutch law forbid the selling of arms to regions of conflicts
and wars, he added.
Delevi also said that the committee of defending the Palestinian
people, founded in the seventies by a group of Dutch Leftists activists,
is currently working on mobilizing human rights and civil society
organizations to adopt the lawsuit that will be filled at the Hague
preliminary court and to pressure the political elite obstruct any
upcoming arms deals between the Netherlands and Israel.
The Netherlands, which enjoys its role as a center for international
justice and host of the United Nations Tribunal in The Hague, is
having its elections in May and this may be an opportunity to take
some promises from candidates to stop arms deals with Israel.
The importance of the Palestinian issue in the upcoming elections
was already noticed when the head of the Dutch leftist party began
his first speech in his electoral campaign by assuring his partys
support to the Palestinian people and condemning Israeli aggression
in the Palestinian towns.
The Netherlands, which has been the most supportive state to Israel
in West European countries, is now witnessing a change in its bias
foreign policy along with a more understanding position toward the
This shift is due to the increasing role of the Muslim minority
in political fields, in addition to the activities of organizations,
such as the Committee of Defending the Palestinian People, and Palestinian
communities in the Netherlands.