B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International commends the Dutch government for joining other nations in rejecting a Palestinian plan to achieve a unilaterally declared statehood at the United Nations. In a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on June 30, Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the Netherlands would not support a push for statehood recognition at the General Assembly in September.
The Netherlands calls for direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and rejected the United Nations as a venue for promoting unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state—a view B’nai B’rith has long supported.
B’nai B’rith also praises the Dutch government for its plans to implement restrictions on Dutch humanitarian programs that fund anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions programs (BDS) and that seek to delegitimize the Jewish state. This move from the Dutch foreign ministry would prevent non profit organizations from using taxpayer money to fund anti-Zionist and anti-Israel initiatives.
Additionally, the Netherlands will enter into a partnership with Israel, the Dutch-Israeli Cooperation Council, by January 2012, to strengthen political ties and increase economic investment between the two countries.
These positive developments come on the heels of a government assault on religious freedom when the lower house of the Dutch Parliament voted to ban ritual slaughter of animals, which would prohibit Dutch Jews and Muslims from adhering to their religious dietary laws. B’nai B’rith urges the upper house to reject the ban when it votes on the measure in September.