Dutch Green Left Party Walks Back Motion to Boycott Israel

The motion 'is not meant as an endorsement of the goals of BDS,' Green Left says after outcry sparked among Jews and Christians

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A BDS protest in Barcelona, October 20, 2015.
A BDS protest in Barcelona, October 20, 2015. Credit: Albert Llop / Anadolu Agency

The Dutch Green Party said it does not support efforts to boycott Israel amid protests over its passing last month of a motion endorsing the campaign.

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

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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 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 foreign countries to forbid BDS, which Green Left opposes on freedom of expression grounds.

At the time that the statement was issued, hundreds of non –Jews from the Christians for Israel organizations and many Dutch Jews had signed up for a protest rally over the motion scheduled for Tuesday in front of Green Left’s headquarters.

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