PM to Dutch MPs: Palestinians won’t accept Israel’s existence
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PM to Dutch MPs: Palestinians won’t accept Israel’s existence

In Holland, Netanyahu says Europe protected by Jewish state's self-defense; is snubbed by pro-Palestinian lawmaker at meet-and-greet

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Dutch President of the Senate Ankie Broekers-Knol (L) and Parliament Speaker Khadija Arib (R) in The Hague on September 7, 2016 (Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Dutch President of the Senate Ankie Broekers-Knol (L) and Parliament Speaker Khadija Arib (R) in The Hague on September 7, 2016 (Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out Wednesday at the Palestinian Authority, telling reporters during a state visit to the Netherlands that the PA celebrated terror and refused to recognize Israel.

“The Palestinians want Acre, Jaffa and Tel Aviv,” he said, according to quotes reported by Israel National News and confirmed by Netanyahu’s spokesman. “The Palestinians and [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas won’t agree to the existence of Israel. The Palestinians celebrate murderous terror around the world, and in Israel they name their streets after murderers,” he said.

While Abbas has refused Netanyahu’s demand to publicly recognize Israel as a Jewish state, the PA has recognized Israel’s existence and backs a peace deal based on a two-state solution. Abbas has refused to engage in talks, however, until Israel ceases all building over the Green Line, including in Jerusalem, and releases the last group of Palestinian prisoners whose release was part of the 2014 talks between Israel and the PA.

Netanyahu also said settlements were not the cause of the conflict, but rather the fact there was an Israel at all.

“Their problem is not the West Bank, it’s our very existence,” he insisted.

Netanyahu met Wednesday with senior Dutch politicians, including Dutch Senate President Ankie Broekers-Knol, House of Representatives Speaker Khadija Arib and members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

He told the lawmakers that “in many respects” Israel’s defense of itself was a defense of Europe, too.

Dutch Parliament Member Tunahan Kuzu refuses to shake hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the States General at the Binnenhof as part of Netanyahu's visit to the Netherlands at the Binnenhof, in the Hague, on September 7, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / ANP / Bart Maat)
Dutch Parliament Member Tunahan Kuzu refuses to shake hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the Netherlands at the Binnenhof, in the Hague, on September 7, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / ANP / Bart Maat)

“Israel doesn’t only protect itself, but also protects Europe,” he said. “Israel is the most stable actor in the Middle East and the most stabilizing force in the Middle East.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Angelien Eijsink concluded the meeting by saying the close relations between the two countries were based on shared values, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

As Netanyahu greeted a group of Dutch lawmakers after the meeting, one parliament member refused to shake the Israeli leader’s hand.

A video of the incident shows Tunahan Kuzu pointing to his Palestinian flag as Netanyahu goes past, and Netanyahu defers as both nod in understanding.

Kuzu, 35, was born in Istanbul and is a member of the the pro-immigrant DENK, or Think, party, which is made up of migrants to Holland.

In 2014, Kuzu led an unsuccessful parliamentary effort for the Netherlands to recognize Palestine.

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