Dutch Green Left party says does not support Israel boycott, despite backing BDS
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Dutch Green Left party says does not support Israel boycott, despite backing BDS

Groen Links says Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement should be allowed to express its opinions and not be outlawed

BDS supporters protest in New York, October 2015. (BDS Facebook page via jTA)
BDS supporters protest in New York, October 2015. (BDS Facebook page via jTA)

The Netherlands’s Green Left party, “Groen Links,” has said it does not support efforts to boycott Israel, amid protests over its passing last month of a motion endorsing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

In the February 16 motion, Green Left called the BDS movement against Israel “a legitimate means to help Palestinians in their fight for justice,” and vowed that the party “will be alert and will resist forcefully attempts in any country to criminalize BDS.”

But following an outcry by Jews and Christians over the endorsement – the first by any Dutch mainstream party – Green Left on Friday released a statement saying that motion “is not meant as an endorsement of the goals of BDS” and that “Green Left is not in favor of a boycott of Israel.”

The motion, according to the statement, was in opposition to legislation in other countries to ban BDS, moves which Green Left opposes because it says it limits freedom of expression.

At the time that the statement was issued, hundreds of non-Jews from the Christians for Israel organizations and many Dutch Jews signed up for a protest rally outside Green Left’s headquarters on Tuesday.

The rally will be held as scheduled as Green Left have not voided the motion on BDS, organizers said.

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