A Dutch-Turkish lawmaker refused to shake hands with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and rejected claims of anti-Semitic behavior.
Tunahan Kuzu, an Istanbul-born former Labour Party politician who represents the far-left and pro-immigration DENK party, refused to shake Netanyahu’s hand when the two met with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch Parliament earlier this month.
Kuzu, wearing a Palestinian flag lapel pin posted a short video explaining why he decided to attend the meeting instead of boycotting the event, explaining he wanted to “do my best to make it a difficult talk.”
Some criticized Kuzu’s behavior, noting that it strayed from the norms of discourse between political adversaries, as Michael van der Galien, editor-in-chief of the popular Dutch news and opinion website De Dagelijkse Standard wrote: “This is shameful behavior…even if you disagree with Netanyahu’s policies, as a parliamentarian you are obliged to treat him respectfully on his visit to the Netherlands…but Kuzu apparently can’t do that because just imagine what will happen if you are seen shaking the hand of a Jewish leader of the only Jewish state? An Islamist like Kuzu can’t even bear the thought.”
The Post Online quoted Kuzu as saying: “We are not anti-Semitic, and criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism.”
The incident comes after former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt, a longtime Palestinian activist, said in an interview on a public television station that Netanyahu is a “war criminal,” who should be prosecuted during his visit to the Netherlands.
by: Inbal Zlotnik