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The Netherlands won't approve EU report on Israeli settlers

Wednesday 14 March 2012

The Netherlands is the only EU country to refuse to approve an EU report on the violence used by Israeli settlers against local Palestinians, the NRC reports on Wednesday.

The paper says the Dutch position is extremely unusual and has worried a number of other EU countries.

The secret report, drawn up by EU diplomats in Jerusalen and Ramallah in February 2012, talks of the 'alarming' increase in the use of violence by settlers and points out that the settlements are illegal under international law.


However, at the bottom of the document is the phrase: 'NL places a general reserve on the document', the paper states.

Diplomats told the paper that all 21 EU representatives support the criticism of Israel's position. 'We are witnessing the toughest position the Netherlands has ever adopted,' one EU diplomat told the NRC.

Website EUobserver, which has seen the report, says there were 411 assaults last year compared to 266 in 2010 and 132 in 2009.

'The attacks varied from gunfire to throwing stones and garbage, including at Palestinian schoolchildren, as well as burning homes and mosques, killing livestock and uprooting olive trees,' the website states.

This is not the first time foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has stood up for Israel in international circles. Last September, for example, Rosenthal reportedly managed to stop European diplomats at the UN reaching a common position on the status of human rights in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

The whole world know the Israeli aggression on Palestinian grounds yet the Dutch government chooses to take this biased stand point regardless of the reports gathered.
I can't believe that I am contributing through paying tax (allot of tax) to what is becoming one of the most racist countries in the world.
Time to start thinking of leaving this country I guess.

By Expat | 14 March 2012 2:38 PM

Shame on the Netherlands.

That's really disturbing: putting politics ahead of humanitarism. Everybody knows, Israel is a country created by colonialism and terrorism working hand-in-hand. Everybody knows that Israeli military use violence and humiliation against settlers.

Nobody has to call Netherlands to open eys. Just be honest!

By Vladimir | 14 March 2012 2:57 PM

Another issue where our policy is being set for another country's interest. Is Rosenthal the Dutch foreign minister or Israeli? What message does this send to the Palestinians and what will be their response?

By simon | 14 March 2012 3:15 PM

I'm not surprised at the foreign minister's stance. He is, after all, Jewish. While he's not solely responsible for foreign policy he carries a lot of clout. Not that it really matters. Even if he sided with the rest of the EU Israel would just ignore it as it has done so often.

By groverpm | 14 March 2012 3:24 PM

Interesting this Dutch pro-Israel positon given the facts on display. One wonders if it could be as simple as Uri Rosenthal being of Jewish heritage but of course that would be too simple an explanation..

By CJ | 14 March 2012 4:01 PM

Given the current Dutch coalition government, Israel could bomb West Amsterdam and the Dutch Foreign Minister, Uri Rosenthal, would find a way to excuse it as being the fault of the residents.

By William | 14 March 2012 4:01 PM

In summary: Don't look to the Dutch for international justice.

By H. | 14 March 2012 4:10 PM

Thank goodness one European countries foreign minister can see through this one sided report. Where are the reports concerning settlers being murdered, a baby almost beheaded, another family destroyed by rocks thrown at their car? And so it goes on every day, but never a word from the EU

By Henry Wood | 14 March 2012 4:12 PM

The Netherlands Foreign Minister needs to be mindful of the precedent he is setting here and the perceptions he is developing in the minds of the European community and the people of his own country. If it would not be lawful for a citizen in this country to use violence against another ethnic group because the 'rule of law' necessitates it as unlawful then it is also unlawful in Israel. The Rule of Law must always be followed by Politicians. If they do not they are inciting Despotism - a very dangerous precedent for a country to be seen to promote.

By Leanne Jensen-Daines | 14 March 2012 4:24 PM

I feel ashamed to be a Jew when I read of this, the oppressed and downtrodden Palestinians must be helped! What can we do? Complain to this Uri Rosenthal, who is creating disharmony between us Jews and our brother Arabs.

By Jacob | 14 March 2012 4:43 PM

It's nice to see Rosenthal nor carving in to one-sided positions that ignores repeated attacks against the Israeli.

By JNW | 14 March 2012 5:02 PM

This was predictable trouble making of the Netherlands in the EU two-state solution policy. This is also the new "clash of civilizations" foreign policy out of the Netherlands. Shameful!

By eslaporte | 14 March 2012 5:10 PM

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal should be dismissed for his racist views. His opinion is completely opposite those of the general Dutch public and I would think also of the ideas of most of the cabinet. Shame, shame.

By Auba | 14 March 2012 6:19 PM

Proud to be in The Netherlands!

By Davi | 14 March 2012 6:37 PM

All decent people know what the Palestinians are going through at the hands of Israelis is evil & wrong, whatever this representative might do, or not do. It never ceases to amaze, that a race who were treated so badly in WWII, go on to perpetrate the same atrocities themselves. Like an abused child going on to be abusers themselves in later life. Interesting to note that the word Jewish isn't used in your report, as that is what these settlers are. It's not out of order to critise a group of people who behave badly, whatever their background, but they don't further their cause by doing so.

By Martin S | 14 March 2012 6:43 PM

What a shame for the Netherlands..

By Guven | 14 March 2012 6:53 PM

Shame on NL!

By McD | 14 March 2012 7:46 PM

Good for NL and Rosenthal. The EU position on Israel is always so one-sided against the only Democratic country in the Middle East. Settlers harming Israeli Arabs should be jailed. Now, where's the EU OUTCRY as over 500 rockets have been fired into Israel in the last month by terrorists?

By bet | 14 March 2012 8:08 PM

The Dutch foreign minister refuses to support human rights and contrary to other EU countries, appears to condone racist thugery against Palestinians.

Are we witnessing a convergence of government sentiment and the chauvinistic agenda of the PVV?

By Mr Clegg | 14 March 2012 8:34 PM

This is not surprising, considering the NL now has a Right Wing Govt and a Zionist foreign minister.

By Alan | 14 March 2012 9:43 PM

On one hand ,in NL , we talk about human rights , equality and blah blah and then scretly, we go against that on EU level. Has anybody saw that report on Dutch channel 1, 2 or 3 ? I doubt it seriously ? Hypocracy..

By Bobby | 14 March 2012 11:14 PM

Israel is a western country in the middle of the Islamic world, they deserve our full support & the support of anyone who values freedom, democracy and our western way of life.

If you dig a little deeper you will see that Palestinians have more rights and are treated better in Israel than in neighbouring Jordon.

By Phil | 15 March 2012 5:02 AM

Good for Holland.

The EU is a joke with it's biased anti - Israel stances.

By jozefzoon | 15 March 2012 10:18 AM

@Phil : Your western way of life (sounds funny btw) obviously is not happening in Israel. For your information.
Read more, open your eyes blah blah

By philby | 15 March 2012 12:39 PM

Bravo to the Netherlands! They can see the truth and the bias of the EU and the shameful media

By Rob | 15 March 2012 5:30 PM

Everything Israel does is with self defense in mind. If they simply wanted to harm Palestinians, they would have easily done so 1000x over. Israelis' actions are purely for their own security. If the Palestinians dropped their weapons, everyone would have that security.
But the unabashed goal of the Palestinian leadership is the killing of Jews. If the Israelis put down their weapons, they'd all be dead.

Palestinians enjoy more freedoms and rights in Israel than they would in even many Western countries. Israeli money and street signs are in Hebrew, Arabic and English! Israeli Arabs serve in the Israeli Kinesset/Parliament.

By Jason | 15 March 2012 5:42 PM

Perhaps instead of condemning Rosenthal, go to the trouble of asking him why he disagrees with the EU report.No one mentions increased Arab attacks against West bank Jews. Besides the occasional murder of settlers by Arabs (such as the massacre of the Fogel family)the conflict between a violent minority of local Arabs and an extremist minority of settler Jews in the West Bank is quite similar to a relatively mild feud between Mideastern familial clans. It is often much LESS deadly than conflicts between feuding Palestinian clans, and nothing like the level of violence found around the world in countries no one seems to care about.

By Dov Hatzafon | 15 March 2012 6:22 PM

"The whole world knows . . "? The whole world ignores the real human rights abusers. The UNHRC has just approved a resolution praising Gaddafi's Libya. Assad has killed thousands (like his father). One year ago, 5 innocent Israelis were murdered while they slept including a 3 month baby girl who was decapitated; her 4 and 11 year old brothers had their throats cut. Israel is the only country whose legitimacy is attacked. Israelis are the only people whose murder is deemed justifiable. It is about time, you learned the truth and not propaganda.

By P. Wilders | 15 March 2012 6:55 PM

Who attacks Jews and who defends Jews in Israel?
Proud to be Dutch this time.

By Peter | 15 March 2012 6:56 PM

I'm not condoning violence in any way, however many of your comments are as disconcerting as the slanted media coverage which invariably finds fault with Israel regardless that her borders and citizens continue to be victims of kidnapping, suicide bombers & rockets launched at civilians over her sovereign borders despite one concession after another towards peace with those committed to her ultimate destruction. I'm grateful to the Dutch gov't for refusing to sign this condemnation absent one that does the same against the Palestinian & Muslim Extremists. Again, I don't endorse or condone civilian violence...not in Israel, not in Gaza, not in the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon or Egypt...not in Tibet, not in Darfur, not in Rwanda, not anywhere...

By Free to Say | 15 March 2012 8:30 PM

As Phil said, those living in the Disputed Territories, were encouraged to abandon their homes having been promised Israel would be destroyed. But they failed. Israel offered land for peace. It was refused. What did they get in return? Nothing! They were turned away by all the Arab nations, forced to remain as "refugees." Arabs who remained in Israel fully participate in gov't & enjoy more freedom than they would in any Arab country...they've thrived under Israeli democracy. Even the refugees receive higher educations, medical care and more at the expense of the Israeli taxpayers. What happened to the Jews expelled from those countries? Any who chose were welcomed & re-settled in Israel. You need all the facts.

By Free to Say | 15 March 2012 8:59 PM

Fascinating to see the number of responses that assume that the Dutch foreign Minister is taking this position on behalf of the Dutch government because he is Jewish. That dual loyalties canard has been used against Jews for centuries and remains alive for any Jew who defends Israel. It is, pure and simple bigotry. There are many reasons to oppose the European position on Israel because of its double standard and refusal to hold The PA, Hamas or any of Israel's neighbours to the same standard to which they hold Israel.

By Marvin | 15 March 2012 9:26 PM

It is sad that the settlers commit acts of violence, but it is hard to equal the terrorism against the settlers, as when Palestinians entered a family home in the settlement of Itmar and murdered (slit the throats) three children aged 11, 3, and a baby girl along with their parents.
Considering this, and the 8,000 Syrians that fellow Arabs have killed in the past year, it is hard to see how some of the criticisms of Israeli settlers are balanced.

By John | 16 March 2012 3:17 AM

At least one country sees Israel's right to defend itself from a population (Arab-Muslim) willing to annihilate the Jewish population occupying, what is historically, land that shud' have gone to Israel under the San Remo declaration of 1922.

By Robert Twic | 16 March 2012 5:29 AM

Mr. Rosenthal makes his stand despite the other EU nations who collapse in the face of any Muslim pressures.The fact is that Rosenthal, the NL minister, being a Jew, is the target of Muslim sympathizers. I applaud the NL for its courage!

By Hanriot | 16 March 2012 6:13 AM

"I'm not surprised at the foreign minister's stance. He is, after all, Jewish."

Typical anti-Semitic remark. And the author probably doesn't even realize it.

The Netherlands is one of the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe. Even worse than the country in which I reside, Poland.

It is refreshing that their government took such a stand.

By Erik | 16 March 2012 7:49 AM

Bravo, Netherlands! The blind eye the EU habitually turns towards Palestinian racist incitement and violence directed at all Israelis is challenged. All intelligent people know that there are two sides to this story. No one disputes the EU right to report--what the EU needs to do is publish a fair critique of the violence done by both sides instead of always demonizing Israel.

By Trish | 16 March 2012 9:11 AM

I do not mind a damn, that IsraHell is a country in the middle of the Islamic world, they also have to comply with international law. So please kick this jewish Minister of Foreign Affairs out of the country if he does not respect international law.

By Aart Liberty | 16 March 2012 11:27 AM

Vladimir, how could Israel have been created by colonialism, when it was established 3300 years ago? That's like saying Native Americans were colonialists in North America. If you want to talk about countries created by colonialism, how about Jordan, Iraq, Iran, etc., which were set up with artificial borders drawn up by the Brits and the U.N. Or did you think those nice straight borders, separating Iraq/ Iran were a coincidence? Interesting that you ignore those, but go out of your way to attack the tiny nation (1/1000 the area of Middle East) that is JEWISH (although all religions are welcome). What's the matter? Can't stand the idea of Jews having 1 country (versus 55 Muslim countries)?

By Gary Katz | 16 March 2012 1:58 PM

Where is the report of all Arab attacks on Jews in the area? Those attacks that very rarely are published in Western press. See the monthly summary for February at http://www.shabak.gov.il/English/EnTerrorData/Reports/Pages/feb12report.aspx
You have all the months at the same website. 100 attacks during February, how many are reported here in EU? Or especially here in Sweden.

By Ralph Haglund | 16 March 2012 2:02 PM

Holland is the only country in the EU that is not blind. Criticism of the settlers' actions is only valid when coming from those who also decry the far worse actions of (1) Hamas who intentionally fire rockets at schools and homes, (2) the PA who glorify murderers of civilians in buses, shops, restaurants, hotels and their homes on PA TV and teach hatred and killing of Jews in their schools, (3)'Honour killings' of women and jailing, torture and murder of gays in Islamic societies, (4) the apartheid practised by Lebanon towards the Palestinians in the refugee camps there. Since there is a general silence on all these from the EU, it has no right to criticise the settlers.

By MeyerM | 17 March 2012 12:53 AM

I guess the Palestinian Arabs are like the Indians of the Americas. This is open support for genocide who is going to stop it? My answer, no one, i would suggest Palestinians to seriously consider moving to a safer place as it cannot be guaranteed.

By Roland | 17 March 2012 5:58 PM

I am glad about the dutch decision, unfortunately I am used to other things by dutch. Maybe this decision is comeback of the Corrie ten Boom spirit? Greetings from Switzerland.

By charrron | 17 March 2012 10:25 PM

What some people call "occupied Palestinian" territory is the territory of Israel. The Arab people who live there are illegal settlers, and they terrorize the Jewish people in their Jewish homeland. When the Israeli government refuses to deal with Arab terror some Jewish folks exercise vigilante justice - which of course - should not happen.

By Moshe | 18 March 2012 1:31 PM

It is important not only for Palestinians and Israelis to know exactly what Mr. Rosenthal is defending (inequality, systematic human rights violations, restrictions of free speech and press, the moral bankruptcy of an apartheid state). It is also important for all citizens of the Netherlands to know what their own Foreign Minister is saying and doing in their name.

By Stacy | 19 March 2012 12:41 AM

It is important for Mr. Rosenthal to be confronted by Jewish and Israeli human rights organizations and activists, of which there are many; he must be told “not in our name.” It is equally important for these organizations and activists to condemn NGO Monitor, CIDI, and other repressive lobbies: to remind them that their tactics serve only to prolong the damage done to both Israelis and Palestinians, that everyone suffers when rights are denied and governments are given a blank check to inflict harm without monitoring or criticism.

By stacy | 19 March 2012 12:43 AM

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