Netherlands – Left-Wing party calls for international commission to investigate Israeli ‘apartheid’

Groen Links
Groen Links

Den Bosch – The main far-left party in the Netherlands has called for an international commission to determine whether the State of Israel practices apartheid towards Palestinians.

At their conference in the city of Den Bosch on Saturday, supporters of the GroenLinks (“Green Left”) Party, a fusion of the Dutch Communist Party with various left-wing environmental groups, overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for an international investigation into Israeli policies.

“After a cautious attitude in recent years, the party seems to be more critical of Israel again,” de Kanttekening, a Dutch news outlet, observed, adding that despite the resolution, GroenLinks has still not declared support for the so-called “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement targeting the Jewish state for a comprehensive boycott as a step towards its eventual elimination. A pro-BDS resolution at the party’s conference last year won less than 40 percent of the vote, with nearly 50 percent of delegates voting against.

Wim Haver, the delegate behind Saturday’s motion, said the decision to avoid support for the BDS movement was tactical. ‘It is not clear to everyone what BDS is,” he said. “If you understand it, you see that it is a means to sanction Israel. The [party executive] thought that was a step too far last year.”

In his speech to the conference, Haver argued that the resolution “is emphatically not directed against Jewish people or Israel itself, but is about the fascism of the Israeli government.”

He noted that there was “a lot of misery in the world, but we are now standing up for the Palestinians. We ask that action be taken against apartheid and fascism in Israel.”

On its website, GroenLinks claims that its position on the Israel-Palestinian conflict is to support “moderate forces” on both sides.

It condemns what it calls “illegal Israeli annexation tactics,” pointing to the eviction of Palestinian families from eastern Jerusalem, as well as Israel’s “disproportionate” military response to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza.

The party occupied eight of the Dutch parliament’s 150 seats, along with two seats in the country’s Senate and three in the European parliament. GroenLinks is currently holding discussions with the center-left PvdA (Labour) party about a possible merger.

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