Foreign Ministry Summons Dutch Ambassador After Pension Fund Boycott

PGGM's divestment is unacceptable and based on false claims, Israeli official tell ambassador.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Dutch ambassador to Israel for a meeting on Friday following the decision by the Netherlands' largest pension fund manager PGGM to withdraw its investments from the five largest Israeli banks due to their involvement across the 1967 line.

PGGM's divestment is unacceptable and based on false claims, the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Director-General for Europe and the EU Rafi Schutz told ambassador Casper Veldkamp, the ministry's spokesperson Yigal Palmor said.

The Foreign Ministry also stressed that Israel expects the Dutch government to voice its unequivocal objection against such steps, based on the friendly relations between the countries.

On Friday, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the Netherlands rejects boycotts or sanctions against Israel, though it maintains its anti-settlements stance, and discourages Dutch companies from doing business with them. "That has been the policy for years," the foreign minister told local media, according to Dutch News.

The Dutch government denied it had anything to do with PGGM's decision to sever its ties with Israeli banks.

PGGM's decision was the third in a string of high-profile divestments by Dutch firms in recent months.

In December, Dutch water giant Vitens reneged on a deal with the Israeli company Mekorot, citing the "political context" of Israel's West Bank settlements, which "cannot be separated from future projects."

In September, Dutch engineering giant Royal HaskoningDHV canceled an East Jerusalem project with the Jerusalem municipality, after the Dutch government warned it that the project is over the Green Line.

Construction in the West Bank.Credit: Nir Kafri

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