JERUSALEM —“We are opposed to BDS and strongly opposed to anti-Semitism, we will fight them,” said Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra during a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
The president held Wednesday a working meeting at his residence with the Foreign Minister.
In welcoming his guest, Rivlin said: “I would like to welcome you to Israel, and Jerusalem, the capital of Israel for the last 70 years as the State of Israel and for the last 3000 years as the Children of Israel.”
Rivlin said Israel appreciates ‘’very much’’ the Dutch government’s toward anti-Semitism. ‘’I want to also emphasize that BDS in some places is part of the wave of anti-Semitism and we have to be very worried about those waves that come from time to time.”
He said he ‘’really appreciates very much our strong cooperation between our two states and I hope very much that this year we will have the opportunity for a G2G meeting between the two governments because I am sure we have a lot of shared interests, to share knowhow, and also our concerns and thoughts about things that are happening all over the world.”
The Isreli president noted that the Netherlands was this year serving as a member of the United Nations Security Council and said, “As one of the major states representing the whole world, and especially the free world in the Security Council of the United Nations, you know what is going on in Iran.”
He added: “We are not only worried about the nuclear ability of Iran, this is the worry of the entire world. We are concerned the extremists in Iran believe they have to set foot all over the region. And now there is a territorial passage from the borders of Iran, not only to Syria but with the possibility to get into Lebanon. We are very worried because of the ability of Iran to influence all terrorist groups in the world.’’
The Dutch minister said in response: ‘’I share your views that developments in Iran and Syria with influence in Lebanon as well, are dangerous ones.”
He stressed, “We will continue to have a close eye, as you said, on what is happening in the region, from Iran, in Iraq – we are present in Iraq of course with our military – what is happening in Lebanon, in Syria.”