BDS faces fresh blow as Dutch parliament passes motion to terminate funding to anti-Israel organisations

By June 27 2016, 18:01 Latest News No Comments

Dutch parliThe Dutch parliament has passed a non-binding motion calling on the government to end funding to organisations calling for a boycott against Israel.

The motion was co-signed this month by three lawmakers, including a prominent politician for the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.

The other co-signatories were Joel Voordewind of the Christian Union party and the ruling party’s Han Ten Broeke, the spokesman for the Parliament Commission on Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Defense Committee.

“Parliament requests the government to end as soon as possible direct or indirect funding for organisations which, according to their mission statements or activities, work to achieve or promote a boycott of Israel, and especially for those organisations that play a leading role”, states the motion authored by Kees van der Staaij of the Reformed Political Party.

Last week, a motion calling for banning West Bank products to the Netherlands and other areas that came under Israeli control in 1967, failed, with only 23 out of 150 lawmakers voting in favour.

The BDS movement advocates for the delegitimisation of Israel and supports a one-state solution. It has called for universities to reject Israeli academics and students and to establish “Israeli free zones”.

The movement has had a troubled year. The latest blow for the movement was the UK Government’s announcement in February of legislation to curtail the boycotts of Israel by publicly funded UK authorities. In an official statement, the Cabinet Office said: “Boycotts undermine good community relations, poisoning and polarising debate, weakening integration and fuelling anti-Semitism”.

Last August, the Spanish government intervened on the grounds of “discrimination”, after the movement lobbied a music festival to cancel an American-Jewish artist. The U.S., Canada and France have also echoed their opposition to the BDS labelling it “hate speech”.

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