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Cablegate: Netherlands/Hrc: Supporting U.S. On Goldstone

VZCZCXRO4059
PP RUEHSL
DE RUEHTC #0582/01 2680722
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 250722Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3299
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000582

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/23/2019
TAGS: IS KISL KPAL PREL PHUM PTER NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/HRC: SUPPORTING U.S. ON GOLDSTONE
REPORT

REF: SECSTATE 98567

Classified By: ...



226932

2009-09-25

09THEHAGUE582

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL

09SECSTATE98567

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000582

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/23/2019
TAGS: IS KISL KPAL PREL PHUM PTER NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/HRC: SUPPORTING U.S. ON GOLDSTONE
REPORT

REF: SECSTATE 98567

Classified By: POLECON Counselor Andrew C. Mann for reasons 1.5 (b,d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Dutch MFA supports the U.S. position on
the Goldstone report, but some members in the Dutch
Parliament will try to pressure FM Verhagen to take a more
skeptical approach toward Israel. The MFA intimated there is
a split on Israel policy between FM Verhagen and Development
Minister Koenders. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Post delivered reftel points to key MFA contacts, and
the PolEcon Counselor and Pol Deputy met September 24 with
Mr. Henne Schuwer, newly arrived Director of the North Africa
and Middle East Department. Schuwer stated we're in the
same place. The Dutch want to maintain the Human Rights
Council (HRC) focus on the report, rather than referring it
to New York. We should let the parties comment on the
report, said Schuwer, we don't need to rush. Schuwer further
agreed that the mandate of the report was flawed, and that
the report is too focused on Israel. Nonetheless, it was
clever to pick Goldstone, given his stature. Because it's
a serious report, we will need to respond. The Dutch had
encouraged the Israelis to participate in the process with
the aim of producing a better final product. The Dutch will
encourage the EU to keep debate on the report at the HRC, but
Schuwer did not anticipate the EU could reach consensus on
this.

3. (C) When the Goldstone report was first released, FM
Verhagen publicly stated that it was one-sided, with too much
focus on Israel. Schuwer noted the FM may have spoken a bit
Qfocus on Israel. Schuwer noted the FM may have spoken a bit
soon, and Verhagen sent a letter to Parliament on September
21 that it was too soon to offer an assessment. Responding
to subsequent criticism from Parliament, Verhagen agreed to
submit the MFA's position to Parliament on September 28.
Parliament will then debate the issue the next day. Schuwer
acknowledged that we won't be able to hide the split on
Israel policy. (Note/Comment: Verhagen and his party, the
Christian Democrats (CDA), have traditionally defended
Israel. Minister for Development Cooperation Koenders and
his Labor Party are more skeptical of Israel's commitment to
human rights. In sharp debates over Israel's human rights
policies, the CDA is challenged by Labor and other parties on

THE HAGUE 00000582 002 OF 002


the left. Post does not expect next week's debate to change
the Dutch approach in the HRC as described by Schuwer in
paragraph 2. End Note/Comment.)
LEVIN

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