Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was snubbed by a Dutch politician on his trip to the Netherlands on Wednesday.
- Ex-Dutch PM demands trying Netanyahu for war crimes during Netherlands visit
- Netanyahu says Netherlands, Israel to improve water, gas supply to Gaza
While visiting the Hague, the seat of the Dutch parliament, Netanyahu shook hands with a number of politicians present. When he approached Tunahan Kuzu, a member of the far-left and pro-immigration DENK party, the parliamentarian kept his arms behind his back, refusing to meet the prime minister's extended hand.
Kuzu, an Istanbul-born former Labor Party member, was sporting a button with the Palestinian flag on his lapel.
According to the Dutch website NU.nl, the parliamentarian wanted to show that there are large groups in the Netherlands which disagree with the "daily fundamental injustices that Palestinians are being subjected to."
In a Facebook message, Kuzu lamented that the Netherlands "rolled out the red carpet" for the Israeli premier while "the streets of Gaza were colored red in the summer of 2014 with blood flowing from the veins of children."
In the wake of the incident, local media accused Kuzu of anti-Semitism.
Michael van der Galien, editor-in-chief of the popular Dutch news and opinion website De Dagelijkse Standard, was among the critics who accused Kuzu of behavior that diverges from the norms of discourse between political adversaries because Netanyahu is Jewish.
“This is shameful behavior,” van der Galien wrote. “Even if you disagree with Netanyahu’s policies, as a parliamentarian you are obliged to treat him respectfully on his visit to the Netherlands. But Kuzu apparently can’t do that because just imagine what will happen if you are seen shaking the hand of a Jewish leader of the only Jewish state? An Islamist like Kuzu can’t even bear the thought.”
Kuzu did shake hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, van der Gailen wrote, despite his persecution of dissidents. “Kuzu has unmasked himself. He is no more than an Islamist inciter of hate,” he added.
The Post Online quoted Kuzu as saying: “We are not anti-Semitic, and criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism.”
Kuzu is not the only Dutchman who expressed his disapproval of Netanyahu during the prime minister's time in the Netherlands. Dries Van Agt, a former Dutch prime minister and pro-Palestinian activist, denouced Netanyahu as a war criminal who should be prosecuted.
During the visit, Netanyahu annouced that the Dutch government will assist Israel in improving water and gas supplies to the energy-strapped Gaza Strip.