Dutch Ministry Accused of Meddling in Israel-Diaspora Relations

YERUSHALAYIM -

The pro-Israel NGO Monitor has accused the Dutch foreign ministry of seeking to meddle in Israeli relations with the Diaspora in order to promote the Palestinian cause, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Wednesday.

The report cited an official Dutch foreign ministry document listed as an objective actions that “encourage Diaspora Jewish communities to voice their opposition to the occupation.”

Gerald Steinberg, founder of NGO Monitor, said it shows that the Dutch are “intruding on Israel–Diaspora relations, on one of the most sensitive issues.”

Chris Bakker, a spokesperson for Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands’ minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, refused to comment on the matter. He also wouldn’t say whether the objectives it specified belonged to his office, or to Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group which has elicited the wrath of Israeli officials over its accusations of crimes committed by IDF soldiers.

Kaag’s ministry pledged $218,000 for Breaking the Silence in its budget for 2018. A former worker for the UNRWA agency for aid to Palestinians, Kaag, is also the wife of a former Palestinian Authority diplomat.