The Green Left Party passed a motion at its general congress to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Green Left Party has become the first mainstream Dutch party to support a boycott against Israel.
The party held a vote on the motion on February 16, during the party’s general congress, which saw members vote in favour of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The party has 14 seats out of 150 in the lower house of the Dutch parliament.
The BDS is a global campaign which promotes various forms of boycott against Israel to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law”.
The motion passed by the Green Left Party states that the BDS movement is a legitimate way to help Palestinians in their fight for justice. The motion adds: "Green Left will be alert and resist forcefully attempts in any country to criminalise BDS."
What does the Green Left endorsement of an Israel boycott mean?
While the Green Left passed the motion to support BDS and help Palestinians live a life free from Israeli pressure, the Israeli press has painted the action as an ‘act of racism'. The Likoed Nederland pro-Israel group says the endorsement of the Green Left is discrimination because it targets the Jewish state.
Adri Nieuwhof, a spokesperson from the BDS movement tells TRT World: "The support of the Green Left party is important. What we now need is that the party joins the efforts of the BDS movement to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing violations of Palestinian rights."
The Dutch Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) says that the Green Left's decision to support BDS means party members prefer Palestinian people to sit at home without working.
The statement adds: "As the Palestinian economy is largely dependent on Israel, a boycott of the Jewish state means to boycott the Palestinian economy."
The Dutch political party has become part of something which it sees as an ever-growing variety of groups and individuals who recognise Palestine's right to exit.
Moreover, the Green Left adds on its website: "It is the ‘people power’ nature of BDS that gives it so much power - generating hope for Palestinians and fear for Israel and its backers. This perspective of BDS is mostly refused by the Israeli side.”
The Green Left Party is not the only supporter of BDS
The cancellation of Argentina's football match and Colombian pop star Shakira’s events in Israel in 2018 are some of the recent achievements BDS has to its name.
Dublin, Ireland, became the first European capital to endorse BDS in 2018. Following Dublin's decision to stand by BDS, four major cities in Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Pamplona) have formally endorsed BDS in support of the Palestinians' right of return.
Even the film industry has lent its support to BDS. Eleven filmmakers have pulled out of the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival to boycott Israel. The Gaza Freedom Flotilla is another campaign that takes place alongside BDS. It is an organisation that seeks to help Palestinians despite Israel's siege on Gaza.