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Green Dutch Party endorses BDS Open in fullscreen

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Green Dutch Party endorses BDS

Leader Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks celebrating on election night in 2017 [AFP/Getty Images]

Date of publication: 27 February, 2019

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A left-wing political party in the Netherlands has endorsed BDS after passing a motion at its General Congress earlier this month, becoming the first Dutch mainstream party to do so.

The Dutch Green Left Party, Groen Links, became the Netherland's first mainstream political party to support a boycott of Israel.

The left-wing party passed a motion supporting the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement in its General Congress on February 16, describing it is "a legitimate means to help Palestinians in their fight for justice".

The Green Left motion calls on parliamentarians to "be alert to attempts in any country to criminalise BDS and strongly try to push back against this".

The party holds 14 out of 150 seats in Dutch Parliament’s lower chamber and 2 seats in the European Parliament. Its position is for Palestine to be recognised as a state and for there to be an end to settlements in the West Bank.

Earlier this month the Netherlands recognised Gaza and the West Bank as official birth places for Palestinians.

Dutch Jewish organisations have criticised Green Left, claiming that support for BDS is anti-Semitic and that the movement is linked with terrorist organisations. Some are branding the party as "racist".

The Green Left motion said there is a powerful lobby in the Netherlands hoping to criminalise BDS.

Around the same time the Dutch Labour Party adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism which includes "targeting the state of Israel".

Courts in France and Spain have ruled BDS is in violation of anti-discrimination laws.

BDS, which 171 Palestinian organisations called for BDS in 2005, is a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel to pressure the country in meeting its obligations under international law.

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