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Viewing cable 09THEHAGUE707, NETHERLANDS/ISRAEL: "DISMAYED"

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09THEHAGUE707 2009-11-20 15:03 2011-01-27 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy The Hague
VZCZCXRO4173
PP RUEHSL
DE RUEHTC #0707/01 3241537
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201537Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3498
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 2942
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0837
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1468
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4623
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000707 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2019 
TAGS: PREL UNGA IS PINR KPAL NL EU
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/ISRAEL: "DISMAYED" 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 118799 
     B. THE HAGUE 668 
     C....




235918

2009-11-20

09THEHAGUE707

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

09SECSTATE118799|09THEHAGUE615|09THEHAGUE668

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000707 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2019 
TAGS: PREL UNGA IS PINR KPAL NL EU
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/ISRAEL: DISMAYED 

REF: A. SECSTATE 118799 
B. THE HAGUE 668 
C. THE HAGUE 615 

Classified By: PolEcon Counselor Andrew C. Mann for reasons 1.4(b,d) 

1. (C/NF) SUMMARY: The Dutch will support EU consensus on the 
anti-Israel resolutions at UNGA, having negotiated a strong 
Explanation of Vote (EOV) by the EU. FM Verhagen was 
dismayed by the latest Israel decision on settlements in 
Gilo, and angered by the surprise announcement of new 
settlements in Gilo shortly after a visit and phone call with 
Israeli FM Lieberman. FM Lieberman's visit on November 11 
was a demonstration of how to irritate people and lose 
friends. In contrast with an earlier meeting of the two 
ministers, however, Lieberman seemed fully in charge. END 
SUMMARY. 

2. (C) ANTI-ISRAEL RESOLUTIONS AT UNGA: Post delivered reftel 
A points to key MFA contacts on UN, human rights and Middle 
East affairs. In a November 19 discussion with Dorine Wytema 
and David Zeverijn, senior policy officers in the Middle East 
department, Zeverijn indicated the Netherlands would support 
the EU consensus position on the anti-Israel resolutions. 
This year's resolutions are significantly worse than last 
year's. However, the Dutch were satisfied that their firm 
position within the EU yielded a strong EOV with language 
addressing the Goldstone report, the blockade language, the 
rocket attacks and Israel's right to self defense. Within 
the EU, we found ourselves needing to pick our battles and 
therefore opted to support consensus, said Zeverijn. 
(COMMENT: The Dutch have been criticized for their tough 
position on Serbian accession to the EU, among other issues, 
and may be seeking to take a more conciliatory approach 
within the EU. END COMMENT.) Zeverijn added that Dutch 
domestic politics, with some parties highly critical of 
Israel, also made it difficult for Verhagen to buck EU 
consensus (reftel C). Finally, Zeverijn suggested it was 
best to avoid a repeat of the EU split that occurred during 
the Geneva debate over the Goldstone report. 

3. (C/NF) REACTION TO NEW SETTLEMENTS: Wytema advised 
confidentially that FM Verhagen was angry about the Israeli 
decision to approve settlements in Gilo. Some of his anger 
stemmed from the fact that FM Lieberman did not reveal the 
settlement plan during a December 11 visit to The Hague or in 
a thank you call afterward. In public comments, Verhagen 
said he was dismayed by the new settlements. (NOTE: 
Verhagen used the Dutch word onthutst, which one 
commentator translated as flabbergasted, and onthutst 
probably sounds slightly stronger than dismayed to Dutch 
ears. However, Zeverijn indicated the FM's remarks matched 
the U.S. language indicating dismay. END NOTE.) 

4. (C/NF) VISIT BY FM LIEBERMAN: Zeverijn described 
Lieberman's visit as a demonstration of how to irritate 
people and lose friends. Wytema noted that Lieberman 
started first and spoke for 20 minutes without giving 
Verhagen the opportunity for a back-and-forth dialogue. 
Lieberman also had dinner with far-right Freedom Party leader 
Gert Wilders during his visit. According to Wytema, 
Lieberman made no movement on peace settlement issues, was 
pessimistic and cynical about every Palestinian, including 
Abbas, and asserted the ball was in Palestine's court because 
the problem was not with us. Lieberman also expressed 
distrust of Turkey, suggesting the Turkey-Iran-Syria 
Qdistrust of Turkey, suggesting the Turkey-Iran-Syria 
rapprochement is part of a plan to divide Iraq after the 
Americans depart. Verhagen told Lieberman you need 
friends, and emphasized his friendship, but noted that the 
Netherlands cannot go on defending Israel without helpful 
actions by the Israelis. Verhagen urged movement on the 
settlements issue, noting that the Netherlands viewed them as 
illegal and a violation of obligations under the roadmap. A 
good gesture, even a temporary moratorium, would help. 
Verhagen also urged Lieberman to strengthen Abbas -- Israel's 
best partner. He asked Lieberman to lift border 
restrictions against the Palestinians to better address 
humanitarian concerns, while reaffirming Dutch support for 
anti-smuggling efforts. Finally, he urged further 
investigations of the Gaza conflict, noting that he would try 
to keep international resolutions in New York fair, but 
that Israel could help with more transparent efforts and more 
publicity with its investigations. Zeverijn concluded that 
the visit had one benefit -- it deflected criticism from the 
Dutch parliament away from Verhagen and toward Lieberman. 

5. (C) LIEBERMAN IN CHARGE: Wytema noted that Leiberman 
seemed fully in charge in the meeting, and that D/FM Ayalon 

THE HAGUE 00000707 002 OF 002 


and other staff did not speak. (NOTE: This contrasts with a 
previous meeting in Jerusalem, where Lieberman appeared 
frustrated and deferred to his staff. END NOTE.) 
GALLAGHER