Lawyers in the Netherlands are taking their government to court to prevent the export of fighter jet parts to Israel. The human rights attorneys said the shipments will make the Netherlands complicit in war crimes committed by the Jewish state. They approached the Hague District Court and asked for an injunction against exporting F-35 fighter jet parts currently stored in the Dutch town of Woensdrecht.
“The warning that the fighter jets can contribute to serious breaches of the laws of war does not, for the Dutch state, outweigh its economic interests and diplomatic reputation,” lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld argued. A government attorney, Reimer Veldhuis, told the court that Israel has the right to self-defense, and if the injunction is granted, “the United States would deliver these parts to Israel from another place.” He also said there is no current evidence to suggest any Dutch culpability in theoretical war crimes.
The Dutch government has been largely supportive of Israel since the Hamas terror attack on October 7. Immediately after the attack, Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted he was in touch with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and told him the Netherlands “unequivocally” condemns Hamas and supports Israel’s right to self-defense.
Since then, however, a general election has taken place and produced a result that sent shockwaves through Europe. Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom, took the largest number of seats in the 150-seat Parliament, taking his controversial party to unprecedented victory.
Mr. Wilders is staunchly pro-Israel and gained worldwide notoriety for his blunt and outspoken views on Islam. Wilders has referred to Islamic culture as “retarded” and called its prophet Mohammed a “pedophile.” His victory in the liberal Netherlands was seen by many leaders as a significant European shift to the right, coming soon after the equally surprising rise of right-wing Georgia Meloni in Italy.
Wilders has made no secret of his ambition to become Dutch Prime Minister but promised to respect the Constitution and be a “Prime Minister for everyone.”