Israel–Netherlands relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Israel–Netherlands relations
Map indicating locations of Israel and Netherlands



Israel–Netherlands relations are foreign relations between Israel and the Netherlands.


Finance ministers Levi Eshkol and Johan Van De Kieft, 1956.

His majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands commemorated the long-lasting bonding between the Netherlands and the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in Israel (President Shimon Peres' dinner 2013): “It was a Dutch banker from The Hague, Jacobus Kann, who made possible the purchase of the land on which the first modern districts of Tel Aviv were built, more than 100 years ago.” Jacobus Henricus Kann (1872-1944) was a Jewish Dutch banker and owner of the private bank NV Bankierskantoor van Lissa & Kann (ABN AMRO Bank), among his clientele were members of the Dutch royal family, a founder of Bank Otzar Hityashvut Hayehudim and Bank Anglo Palestine (Bank Leumi), and an affluent investor in companies as the Palestine Potash Limited (Dead Sea Works) and Frutarom. Kann sponsored many of Hertzel activities and the zionist conferences and purchased the land for Achuzat Bait- the seed of Tel-Aviv. Kann arrived to Jerusalem for a third time in 1924 with his family and was nominated as the first Consul of the Netherlands in Jerusalem (1924-27). Kann died on October 7 1944 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

In 1947, the Netherlands voted in favor of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1949.[1]

The Netherlands was initially among the most supportive countries of Israel in Europe. It was one of the few countries to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, whereas most countries preferred placing their embassies in the Tel Aviv area until the final status of Jerusalem was resolved. Following the Six-Day War, the Dutch people raised about $4.2 million for Israel in donations.[2] After the Soviet Union cut off diplomatic relations with Israel due to the Six-Day War, the Dutch Embassy in Moscow established an Israel interests' section which represented Israel in the Soviet Union until diplomatic relations were reestablished in January 1991.[3] In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, the Netherlands was one of only two European countries (the other being Portugal) that allowed American aircraft ferrying military equipment to Israel as part of Operation Nickel Grass to use its airbases. The Netherlands also supplied Israel with military equipment during the war, primarily engines, spare parts, and shells for its British-built Centurion tanks after the British government had imposed an arms embargo on Israel and thus cut off Israel's original source for this material, but also parts and munitions for light AMX tanks, artillery ammunition, and aircraft bombs.[4] A number of Dutch truck drivers worked in Israel during the war to replace Israeli truck drivers who had been called up for military service.[5]

In 1980, following the Jerusalem Law and a UN Resolution asking member states to withdraw their Jerusalem embassies in response, the Dutch government moved its embassy from Jerusalem.[6] Dutch forces were deployed as part of the UNIFIL peacekeeping force in Lebanon, and during the 1982 Lebanon War, a unit of Dutch peacekeepers was one of the few UNIFIL units that attempted to obstruct the Israeli advance. The Dutch soldiers put up obstacles that damaged two Israeli tanks, but the Israeli armored column ultimately forced its way through their position.[7]

The Embassy of Israel in the Netherlands is located in this building in The Hague. (May 2014)

During the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq launched Scud missile attacks against Israel in the hopes of provoking an Israeli counterattack and thus rupturing the Coalition, which included Arab countries. Israel agreed not to attack Iraq in exchange for protection, and Coalition Patriot missile batteries were deployed in Israel to counter the Scud attacks. The Royal Netherlands Air Force deployed a patriot missile squadron to Israel and Turkey. The Dutch Defense Ministry later confirmed that the Patriot missiles had been largely ineffective, but the psychological value was high.[8] Israel has an embassy in The Hague.[9]

The Netherlands has an embassy in Ramat Gan, an information office in Jerusalem and two honorary consulates in Eilat and Haifa.[10] Both countries are full members of the Union for the Mediterranean.


There were 29,800 Jews living in the Netherlands in 2017.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Relations between the Netherlands and Israel". Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Israeli Finance Minister Lauds Dutch for Generous Aid After Six-day War". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  3. ^ "They did not dwell alone. The emigration from the Soviet Union. 1967 - 1990. During the representation of Israeli Interests by the Netherlands Embassy in Moscow." Summary of dissertation at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen by Petrus Buwalda. Groningen, 1996.
  4. ^ The Netherlands and the Oil Crisis: Business as Usual, p. 27-30
  5. ^ "Europe: Choosing Between Israel and The Arabs - An Interview with Avi Pazner". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Eugene Register-Guard - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  7. ^ Warriors of God: Inside Hezbollah's Thirty-Year Struggle Against Israel, p. 41
  8. ^ "Betrokkenheid van Nederland". Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Error-2010-f3". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  10. ^ "עולם הבלוגים". Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  11. ^ American Jewish Year Book. "The Jewish Population of the World (2010)". Jewish Virtual Library.

External links[edit]