Israel-born Dutch senator fails security check, loses ministerial appointment

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

Gidi Markuszower (Robin van Lonkhuijsen/via JTA)
Gidi Markuszower (Robin van Lonkhuijsen/via JTA)

Following a classified report by the Dutch secret service, the Israel-born senator Gidi Markuszower will not be appointed cabinet minister, the leader of the Netherlands’ largest political party says.

“The content of the report about Gidi Markuszower was the reason for me to end his candidacy,” Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom, writes on X. Lawmaker Marjolein Faber is replacing Markuszower as his Party for Freedom’s candidate for immigration and asylum minister, Wilders says.

Markuszower, who in 2010 pulled out of an election race following a report by the AIVD secret service about his alleged contacts with an unnamed foreign intelligence service, is not immediately responding to a request for comment on the subject. Dutch media report the AIVD security service flagged Markuszower in a security screening following his candidacy.

Markuszower, 46, an anti-immigration, pro-Israel firebrand, is the subject of intense media coverage in the Netherlands, where some prominent journalists suggest he is a foreign agent and criminal. His appointment as senator in 2017 passed without objections by the AIVD, and he is expected to continue serving in that role.

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