Dutch Jewish org. fears "explosion of violence" in Jerusalem

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

The Netherlands' center for information and documentation on Israel, CIDI, worries that an "explosion of violence" will result from the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, director Hanna Luden said to NOS. Donald Trump is expected to officially announce later today that the United States is moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. ChristenUnie thinks the Netherlands should follow suit, parliamentarian Joel Voordewind said to BNR.

Luden pointed out to NOS that Jerusalem has been the official capital of Israel for some 70 years. "It's really just acknowledging that Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Nothing will change, except that there can be an explosion of violence", she said to the broadcaster. "I would have preferred a different order: first get the parties at the table and then these nice words. If I were Trump's adviser, I'd say: do not do it."

The Dutch government, like many other countries, does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Dutch embassy is therefore based in Tel Aviv. And there are no plans to change that, according to NOS.

But the ChristenUnie, one of the four parties in the Dutch government, thinks that plans should be made. "In fact, Jerusalem is already the capital", Voordewind said to BNR. "The government and parliament is there. It is bizarre that when visiting Israel, I have to speak to the Dutch ambassador in Tel Aviv. There is no business to do in Tel Aviv, everything happens in Jerusalem. We have to stop that sham."

Kees van der Staaij, leader of Christian party SGP, is also in favor of moving the Dutch embassy. "Jerusalem is a special place for everyone, but as King David's city, it is undoubtedly the capital of the Jewish people", he said, according to NOS. "Wholehearted support for Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The Dutch embassy also belongs in Jerusalem!"

The Rutte III coalition agreement states that the Netherlands is in favor of a 'two-state solution', in which Israel and the Palestinians live in peace with each other, according to BNR. The international community sees the status of Jerusalem as the outcome of the process towards this two-state solution. Embassies moving to Jerusalem will be the "death kiss" of that process, according to the Palestinians. They also see Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, according to the broadcaster. Saudi Arabia called Trump's plan "a blatant provocation". 

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma of other government party D66 agrees. According to him, Trump is planting a bomb under the two-state solution with this reckless plan. "Why would you deliberately further destabilize a fragile region?" he wants to know, according to NOS. 

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