Lawmakers weigh words on Hamas-Israel conflict on golden scales

Some parties in the House of Representatives are waging the war between Israel and Hamas. The House of Representatives unanimously condemned Hamas attacks on Israel, but many parties also expressed growing concern about civilian casualties in Gaza and increasing polarization in the Netherlands.

Today, for example, GroenLinks/PvdA appeared to regret its support for an SGP motion emphasizing Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas violence. The two cooperating parties issued a statement saying a different choice should be made.

GroenLinks/PvdA’s support has been heavily criticized in recent days, especially on social media. “It was never our intention to minimize or create exceptions for violations of international humanitarian law,” the statement said.

The party association later said, “It would have been better if we had applied in our own words and not supported this application.”


Other parties continue to struggle with this issue, which arouses many emotions in society and among its supporters. “I was the nitrogen spokesperson,” says CDA MP Derk Boswijk. “I thought this was a complex issue, but this is even more complex and sensitive.”

What particularly bothers the CDA MP is that when he says he supports Israel’s right to self-defense, he is immediately lampooned as not caring about the Palestinians. When he advocates taking the Palestinian people into account, this is immediately seen as hostility towards Israel. “We need to end this isolation and polarization. “This isn’t going anywhere.”

Boswijk combines the right of self-defense with the demand that Israel respond proportionately and within the rules of international law. “It is worrying that the number of civilian casualties is increasing so rapidly. “Whether it is the life of an innocent Israeli or an innocent Palestinian, both are equally serious.”

Some MPs fear that too clear a stance by one of the warring parties could lead to further tensions between population groups in the Netherlands. “I think it is extremely important that we defend international law and the dignity of human life, and this means that we must loudly condemn the terrorism of Hamas,” emphasizes D66 Member of Parliament Sjoerd Sjoerdsma. “But we cannot whisper or remain silent when Israel commits international violations, and that is what we are doing now.”

He wants outgoing Prime Minister Rutte to approach the conflict in a more balanced manner. Rutte has previously emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas violence. “He must also be very critical of Israel’s collective punishment of Gazans by blocking water, food and electricity from Gaza,” Sjoerdsma said.


Like GroenLinks/PvdA, D66 is calling for a ceasefire; A call that CDA and BBB have nothing to do with. “A ceasefire means saying: We must negotiate,” says Caroline van der Plas. However, Hamas is a terrorist organization. “Don’t negotiate with terrorists,” she said.

Van der Plas is “very concerned” about the consequences of the conflict in the Netherlands. “We are dealing with open hatred of Jews under the guise of pro-Palestinian demonstrations.” It recognizes the right to demonstrate, but slogans such as “Palestine wants to be free from the river to the sea” are anti-Semitic and punishable. .

Denk’s leader, Stephan van Baarle, believes that the demonstrations in support of the Palestinians have been honorable so far. “We always condemn anti-Semitism. I always say: protest with dignity. “Try to convince as many people as possible that 75 years of oppression of Palestinians must end.”

Van Baarle himself distributed a map of the Middle East on which Israel’s current territory, including occupied territory, was colored with the Palestinian flag. He does not see this as a provocation. “Our position is clear. We are in favor of a one-state solution and for us the name of this state is Palestine. “To have equal rights for Jews and Palestinians.”

Next week, the House of Representatives will again discuss the situation in the Middle East with outgoing Prime Minister Rutte in preparation for European consultations on the conflict.

Source: NOS