Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Former Dutch premier who supported antisemitism and Hamas dies of euthanasia

Dries van Agt, one of the worst antisemitic politicians in the Netherlands, and his wife, have both died by ways of euthanasia:
Dries Van Agt, who served as prime minister of the Netherlands from 1977 to 1982, and whom Dutch watchdog groups condemned in recent years as an antisemite, chose to die last Monday with the assistance of a doctor, along with his wife. He was 93.

The double-euthanasia was announced on Sunday, by Van Agt’s organization Rights Forum, which he founded to oppose what the group calls “blind support for Israel” in the Netherlands’ public and political discourse.

[...] Van Agt made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a major area of interest later in his life and was condemned on several occasions by Jewish and other organizations as an antisemite. Van Agt defended Hamas as well as individual terrorists several times.

In 2008, the former prime minister spoke at a rally featuring a televised address by a Hamas official. As a justice minister in the 1970s, Van Agt cited his "Aryan" roots in explaining his plan to pardon four Nazi war criminals due to health reasons.

In 2022, the former prime minister said that settlers in the West Bank had poisoned a three-year-old Palestinian girl, a charge that B'Tselem, the leading Israeli organization devoted to documenting alleged human rights violations, said it was not aware of. CIDI, the Netherlands' main antisemitism watchdog, called the accusation a blood libel. The Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands declared Van Agt an antisemite in 2017.

The Rights Forum, which Van Agt founded in 2009, lobbies Dutch politicians and representatives to challenge Israeli policy in the UN and International Criminal Court, alleging “violations of international law and human rights in Israel and Palestine,” and naming international law and human rights as its “explicit and consistent reference framework” as an organization. The group accuses Israel of “violat[ing] the fundamental rights of millions of Palestinians in often extremely violent ways, generation after generation.”

The organization has come under criticism from pro-Israel groups such as NGO Monitor, in particular for a pattern of rejecting allegations or definitions of antisemitism that the group deems politicized: in 2023, the group accused the Dutch ambassador to Israel of “going too far” when he called a shooting attack, in which a 21-year-old resident of East Jerusalem killed seven people and wounded two more, antisemitic.
Gee, if this man was going to go out of his way to condone blood libels and support terrorists, it's hard to feel sorry he decided to end his life as he did. But, he's made sure to leave behind a venomous legacy and movement that's carrying on his repulsive practices, and they're sure to cause only so much more damage for years to come.

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