Dutch Socialist MP calls for new intifada against Israel
January 7, 2009
Dutch MPs deeply divided over Gaza incursion
by Rob Kievit
Dutch opposition MP Harry van Bommel (pictured right) denies that he called on Palestinians to resume their violent uprising against Israelis as a response to Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip. The Socialist Party MP admits that he called for a new intifada at an anti-violence demonstration in Amsterdam on Saturday, but adds that he meant "civil disobedience and peaceful protest".
Mr Van Bommel said on Sunday that he will continue to support non-violent protests against the current Israeli invasion. In footage on YouTube, he is seen at the head of a crowd, and heard chanting "Intifada intifada, Palestine free". By his side is Gretta Duisenberg, a well-known pro-Palestinian activist.
Mr Van Bommel's remarks prompted a quick response from conservative MP Hans van Baalen and his Christian Union colleague Joël Voordewind, both ardent Israel supporters.
"Any call to violence against Israeli citizens is repulsive,"
Mr Van Baalen said. Both MPs say that Mr Van Bommel's comments disqualify him as an elected representative.
The Lower House Committee on Foreign Policy is meeting on Monday to discuss developments in the Middle East. Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said on Sunday that he supports the European Union's call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. The EU wants Hamas to end its rocket attacks and Israel to cease its military action against the Palestinian group. Mr Verhagen called on Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
The Prime Minister's position
The Arab European League (AEL), a Belgian-based political grouping of Arabs living in Europe, says it is taking Dutch ministers and companies to court. AEL spokesman Abdoul-Mouthalib Bouzerda told BNR Nieuwsradio that, in his organisation's view, members of the Hague government as well as a number of Dutch companies are violating international treaties by supplying Israel with military equipment. The public prosecutor has not yet responded publicly to AEL's complaints against ministers and companies. http://www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/region/netherlands/090105-dutch-mps-gaza
Doekle Terpstra must leave the Public Broadcasting organization after the pro-Hamas-march;
Stop state subsidy to the ICCO
The Party for Freedom [PVV] wants Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Plasterk [PvdA, Labour], to remove Doekle Terpstra from the Supervisory Board of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting organization. Last Saturday, ICCO ("interchurch organization for development cooperation", with Terpstra as Chairman of the board) organized a pro-Hamas march in Amsterdam where an intifada against Israel was called for.
Demonstrators displayed Hamas and Hezbollah flags, plus portraits of Khomeini and Sheikh Yassin. In addition, texts such as "Israel repeats the Holocaust" and "Israel burn in hell" were displayed, and the Israeli flag was trampled underfoot. There were chants such as "Hamas, Jihad, Hezbollah," and "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas." The subsidy of the Minister for Development Cooperation [Bert Koenders, PvdA, Labour] to ICCO should be discontinued immediately, says Wilders, PVV-parliamentarian and Bosma [MP for the PVV].
PVV media spokesman Martin Bosma: "The demonstration was amongst others organized by the Olive Trees Campaign, a club that is funded by the ICCO. The President of that club is Doekle Terpstra. Terpstra [who earlier this year called Wilders "the evil that has to be stopped"] is financing pro-Hamas activities. Hamas wants the immediate destruction of Israel and the rest of the Holocaust. Someone who sits in the extremist quarter like Terpstra does is not credible to continue monitoring the public broadcaster that claims to be ‘of us all, for all of us.' Doekle must go!
"The publicly-funded organization ICCO subsidizes a demonstration together with the International Socialists, the Communist Party, Milli Gorus and the Palestine Committee. These are the friends of Doekle Terpstra. In the newspaper Trouw he announces that he wants to join the initiative ‘Eén land, één samenleving' [‘One country, One Society'], of the professional extremist Mohamed Rabbae [who advocated a successful ban on the book The Downfall of The Netherlands, laughed at 9-11, and called Wilders ‘a little Hitler']. Should we pay such a man any longer with our tax money? Terpstra can take care of himself very well. He earns a lot in the Higher Education Board, and has commissionerships with the Grontmij, Aegon, and Unilever. He is chairman of the ICCO."
The Party for Freedom finds Terpstra unfit to be a member of the Supervisory Board of the Public Broadcasting organization. Terpstra believes that freedom of expression must be curtailed. He finds that "freedom should not be used to offend." Someone like that is not fit to monitor public broadcasting.