Monday 24 February 2020

Trump proposes new US ambassador to the Netherlands

A man who was born in Groningen but whose family emigrated to the US when he was three has been nominated for the post of US ambassador to the Netherlands by president Donald Trump.

The appointment of Pete Hoekstra (63) still needs to be approved by the Dutch government and then confirmed by the US senate.

Hoekstra was a Republican member of the house of representatives from 1993 to 2011, representing a district in Michigan, and serving as chairman of the house intelligence committee. He was briefly tipped to become head of the CIA.

His Twitter feed describes him as a ‘frequent writer and commentator on intelligence issues and the threat from radical Islam’.

Jihad

According to the NRC, in 2015 he said there is chaos in the Netherlands due to a ‘secret jihad’ in Europe. ‘Cars are being set on fire, politicians are being set on fire,’ the NRC quotes him as saying. ‘Yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.’

He has also spoken at congresses hosted by the anti-Islam US think-tank American Freedom Alliance, at which Geert Wilders has also been a guest.

The Volkskrant says Hoekstra is anti gay marriage, anti abortion and pro the death penalty.

If confirmed, Hoekstra will be the first US ambassador to the Netherlands since early 2016 when the incumbent Timothy Broas resigned after less than two years. Broas returned to spend more time with his famility who remained in America after he took up the position in March 2014.

Since 2005, no US ambassador to the Netherlands has completed their four year term in office. Broas’ predecessor, Fay Hartog Levin, left in September 2011 after three years and it took a further 2.5 years for Broas to be appointed.

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