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The Netherlands to abstain on Palestine UN motion: minister

Thursday 29 November 2012

The Netherlands will abstain from voting during a vote on raising the status of Palestine with the United Nations, foreign minister Frans Timmermans told MPs on Thursday.

Timmermans said he is not opposed to a change in status but said this is not the appropriate moment. The move is an ‘act of desperation’ because the Palestinians ‘no longer know how to position themselves in the peace process’, he said.

The Palestinian Authority wants to be allowed to attend UN general assemblies as a 'non-member state', the same status as the Vatican. At the moment it is classed as a 'non-member entity'.

Timmermans said he regretted the fact he had been unable to broker a common position within the EU. Spain, Denmark, Belgium and France are expected to support the motion while Germany and possibly Britain will also abstain.

Is the Netherlands right? Use the comment form below to share your views.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

The UK has said it will support the Palestinian request. So should the Netherlands!

By R Dixon | 29 November 2012 3:26 PM

once again the EU has missed a precious opportunity to speak with a single voice/vote on an important matter in a world forum...

By Anna Maria Magnifico | 29 November 2012 3:46 PM

Yes, the Netherlands is correct on this one. It would be more appropriate to first return to the negotiating table. Now the Palestinians can think all they need do to reach statehood is to push their agenda through the UN rather than face-to-face talks with Israel. In the long-term that will not work, and quite likely prolong the their quest for statehood. Ultimately it will come down to negotiating directly with Israel, and nothing more.

By Quince | 29 November 2012 3:56 PM

There is no room for terrorists in the UN and rather than abstain the Netherlands should have taken a stance and voted against.

By Paul | 29 November 2012 3:57 PM

If the Palastinians would bother going back into the negotiations table instead of doing steps that have no actual meaning, they might not become "desperate".

By T | 29 November 2012 3:59 PM

Timmermans = coward ?

By Peter | 29 November 2012 4:03 PM

Uri Rosenthal would vote NO but Frans Timmermans going to abstain instead vote for. Nederland decided to displease quarter of planet earth to please Israel. That’s unusual unless Timmermans is influenced by Rosenthal.

By Obaid Karki | 29 November 2012 4:30 PM

shame on you netherlands!

By jenny | 29 November 2012 4:46 PM

Mr.Timmermans ,what 'peaceproces'you're talking about ? The offering by the Israheli govt, for a few Palestinian
bantustans without army and control of
their borders , their most valuable
pieces of land and water stolen from them. Israhel is stealing more land and water ,displacing Palestinians every day. And you and your hypocrit government are condoning and supporting it. Whoever tries to
resist and fight this ,you label
extremists,militants and terrorists ,
or "they don't know no longer how to
position themselves ......."

By Robert | 29 November 2012 5:44 PM

A possible palestine state is very dangerous. See what is happening to the ARAB world now. More violence after the new regime. People should learn violence is not the way.! Plz.! palenstine should stop bombing Israel first. I have been to Israel and arabs there have no issues. they are happy. So dont know why they want to make the country unhappy.!

By supratip | 29 November 2012 5:49 PM

Mr Dixon, I haven't practiced Morse code for years, but as I am informed from my out back in Holland the British government will conditional abstain.

By Terence Hale | 29 November 2012 7:01 PM

Two wrongs do not make a right: both sides are wrong. The only ones to profit from wars are the weapons manufacturers, banksters & politicians.

Israel & USA are one and the same, in collaboration with each other for years.

Palestinians are being treated the same way as the Jews during WW2, stop it!!

Read the UN's agenda 21 first, then make your choice please, thanks :)

By The visitor | 29 November 2012 7:50 PM

Palestine is a myth. Most of the "palestinians" came to this land in the first half of 20th century from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, etc... Arafat was born in Kairo, by the way. The word "palestinian" 100 years ago was equivalent to "jew". Why most of Europe is so anti-Israel? The same reason why they allowed holocaust to happen...

By ceye | 29 November 2012 7:55 PM

Are you sure R Dixon? I think the UK was one of the countries that abstained.

By pepe | 29 November 2012 10:50 PM

The Netherlands should take the same position as Canada. Oppose it. Until the Palestinians stop supporting terrorism and terrorist activities, no international recognition. Period.

By K Boonstra | 30 November 2012 2:24 AM

and the world told him: you are wrong! Thank you UN. Shame on you Timmermans

By Peter | 30 November 2012 7:28 AM

Portugal voted in favor as well. As Portuguese I'm proud of that.

By L. Pires | 30 November 2012 7:28 AM

It's the best they can do.Little backbone and always sitting on the fence.

By Al | 30 November 2012 7:39 AM

No, the Netherlands is not right! Abstaining gives legitimacy to the an Arab leadership that refuses to acknowledge Israel. What they say they seek they were offered and not so politely declined (joined forces and attacked Israel). No, abstaining shows that the Netherlands and Europe will never let go of its dexcrimination against the Jewish people (this is just a gutless way to say it)

By bet | 30 November 2012 8:11 AM

It's a shame. I am from Argentina and very proud that my country - and South America/UNASUR as a bloc- supported Palestine in this claim. A pity some European countries don't dare contradict USA policies

By Julia Hernandez | 30 November 2012 8:13 AM

If even the Vatican is allowed at the UN, it would make no sense not to allow Palsetine too.

By Toms | 30 November 2012 8:23 AM

I agree with Paul: "There is no room for terrorists in the UN and rather than abstain the Netherlands should have taken a stance and voted against."

By Sam | 30 November 2012 8:45 AM

Is this really about human beings and peace? Time to bash their heads together... I have as much right as anyother being to call this Earth my home. Land and ownership are myths. To abstain is to hold back... Holding back from peace and a solution. Those who vote no... do you really really want peace? Of course not!

By Allan | 30 November 2012 9:12 AM

Luckily there already is a home country for these so called Palestinians. It's called Jordan!

By DH | 30 November 2012 9:21 AM

Its funny..everyone is saying the '2 state soltion' is th ebest way, but when Palestine try to get their own state they get refused. this is another first step towards that solution. talking with israhell hasnt worked and it never will as they dont want to negotiate anything that doesnt work in their favour. at least now Palestinians can feel more at ease that their neighbours can no longer bomb them at will. The NL voting yes no or not all doesnt matter and is not surprising, they dont want to take a stand thats a cultural thing, the majority has spoken.

By jen | 30 November 2012 11:09 AM

Why minister Timmermans do you think this is not the right moment? when is the right moment according to you? should we wait another 10 years? maybe 20?

The only 9 countries that said no to this move.. are these the only countries that made the right choice? and the 138 countries that said yes.. are these countries wrong?

statistics would say the opposite!

I would like to respond to Sam.. Palestinians are not all terrorists.. as Israelis are not all criminals even if they have criminals at their government!

By Nur | 30 November 2012 12:48 PM

Obviously, Mr. Timmermans doesn't have a clue about the opinion of the Dutch population. Or he simply doesn't care, like is usually the case with politicians. Those who voted against or abstained are the ones that fear their relationship with the mighty U.S.A. might suffer.

As for Paul, just wait until your land is occupied and you are driven out of your home to live in a walled-off area. I hope you won't have the nerve to defend yourself, because that would make you a terrorist. Like the terrorists that called themselves "resistance" and killed those poor Germans in 40-45. Oh wait, that was different of course...

By Senso | 30 November 2012 3:46 PM

I can see that a lot of people here are either 'israeli' or brainwashed. Please read history properly and do not rely on false news networks to tell you 'how' to think and take position.

By Truth | 30 November 2012 3:50 PM

@Julia Hernandez: and your country also supported the Nazi during and after WWII.

By Quince | 30 November 2012 5:53 PM

Israel announced plans Friday to advance a wave of construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The International Criminal Court's prosecutor's office said on Friday it was considering the legal implications

By Dude | 30 November 2012 6:46 PM

the UN already created a palestinian state when it seperated israel from palestine.....we forget the resolutions the un passed in 48'
the israelis have not respected any UN resolutions like it does not respect this one also...
any other country and you probably have a UN invasion like irag or afghanistan
but isreael is different..i wonder why ?
do they connections somewhere ?

By allan lieberman | 30 November 2012 7:36 PM

At least abstain, better sillent support that loudly against-vote like the Czech Republic. I feel shame.

By Jan | 30 November 2012 9:06 PM

To take a common position for all the EU states would have meant, according to Timmermans, to abstain altogether from the vote. If "speaking with a common voice" means "keeping our mouth shut" it's better to stand out from this mute choir.
Abstention is only good for States who have some reason to feel guilty any time the question is about Israel, so let the Nazis and other antisemitic places abstain, you can just speak your mind.

By Balalaika | 1 December 2012 9:27 AM

The dutch government should be ashamed,don't they know the history re the palestinians.They should support Israel. Do your home work, instead of running with hounds.

By Adriaan | 1 December 2012 11:29 PM

I'm glad to see that there are still people in the Netherlands who openly voice their support for Israel. From the day their country was re-established, they have been fighting to survive.

When rocket after rocket have been fired into Israel indiscriminately with no consideration given for women and children, these are no signs that they have peaceful means on their agenda.

Just think how the Gaza strip would have looked if all the support the Palestinians received would have been used to build their land, it would have been a paradise to live there.

Yet, they choose self destruction.

Unquestionably, they have continued to fuel the fire of failure for blindly following and supporting a terrorist organization.

By Hank Kemp | 3 December 2012 9:23 PM

As a Dutch - Canadian, I am ashamed of both countries. The Harper government does not speak for me.
The Dutch know all too well life under tyranny and oppression and Canadians as protectors and liberators? In the past, yes and I'll rethink that now.

By Onne de Boer | 4 December 2012 7:27 PM

It's really sad to think that people in the 21 century can be so ignorant.
To those who are Anti-Palestine:
Palestine a terrorist organisation? really? you're having a laugh! Do yourselves a favour and stop being influenced by the media. Educate yourselves. Know the history.
to get you started here's the basics of this conflict: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/
A tip on how to educate yourself: don't only rely on this source find out if it's true (which you will find it is).

P.S. I'm sure the only reason why NL hasn't voted in favour for Palestine's statehood is because they're worried their bond might be damaged and the U.K...well they just follow USA's footsteps. What a sad, corrupted world we live in.

By LonglivePalestine | 4 December 2012 10:56 PM

Hamas is a terrorist organization, period.

When parents are supporting or wanting a government for which they are willing to sacrifice their own children for the good of their cause, is unbelievably fanatic.

They've brainwashed their supporters into believing something what will never occur as long as they do not recognize that Israel is a sovereign state.

I'm not anti Palestine, I just feel sorry for these people failing to recognize that peace can be obtained if they want to.

By Hank Kemp | 5 December 2012 6:41 AM

Israel are the protagonists. They have systematically eroded the human rights of Palestinians for years. Not allowing tools to fix machinery, forcing fisherman into polluted waters, denying kids education. Zionism is a failed concept, and a disgusting one too. There's a reason most of the world support Palestine.

By Mark | 5 December 2012 9:31 AM

Mark, give some facts my friend.

Propaganda is easy trying to poison the minds of simple people.

You really expect Israel to form their own Marshall plan rebuilding the lands the Palestinians live when in the process of doing so, their own people have to live in bomb shelters?

Why really continue their destructive behavior when it is an established fact that Israel will continue to be Israel from now on.

Living in peace is far more attractive and prosperous than living with hate.

Try to improve on the positives is far more important.

By Hank Kemp | 6 December 2012 5:27 AM

One final note Mark, for years and years I have contributed to the welfare of people in Palestine and Israel.

The return of these investments is far more attactive involving Israel.

That's not the peoples fault but purely lays on the shoulders of those who govern.

If Palestine was a country, to which country did their displaced/exciled governemnt moved to?

By Hank Kemp | 6 December 2012 5:45 AM

Find a history book and read about the Lausanne Conference 1949, Henk. Also, pretending to be charitable to people while expecting a return is nothing to boast about,

By Roy | 6 December 2012 11:32 AM

All the we had to pay, and I was one who contributed to that, in order to support the two sides was not a charitable contribution.

Wanting peace between these two parties is not pretending instead, it shows a desire to solve the conflict and not making excuses like you do.

Believe me, if ever the day comes that they can live in peace with each other, it will indeed be something to boast about.
Try to stay constructive Roy.

By Hank Kemp | 6 December 2012 4:27 PM

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