Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders meets Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Amsterdam

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders meets Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Amsterdam
Isaac Herzog's visit to Amsterdam, which saw him open a new Holocaust museum, was met with protestors.
3 min read
12 March, 2024
Geert Wilders Party for Freedom took the most seats in the Dutch parliament in recent elections in 2023 [Photo by RAMON VAN FLYMEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images]

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders met Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Amsterdam on Monday, announcing that Israel had his full support in its war on Gaza.

Wilders, leader of Dutch political party the Party for Freedom (PVV), said on X that he had a great meeting with the president.

In his post he said that he told Herzog "I am proud that he visits the Netherlands and that Israel has, and always will have, my full support in its fight against terror."

Wilders, who won the most seats in the Dutch parliament during the 2023 general election, has long ran on an anti-Islam agenda. He has previously said he wanted to ban mosques and the Quran in the Netherlands.

He is also a staunch supporter of Israel, advocating for the shifting of the embassy to Jerusalem and the closing of the Dutch diplomatic post in Ramallah in the Israeli occupied West Bank.

His post drew criticism on X, with Senior Humanitarian Law and Policy Coordinator Itay Ephstain recalling that Wilders chastised him following a talk he gave on international law in Jerusalem. He added that "we should all, Israelis and Palestinians, do without his support".

Wilders' meeting with Herzog came amid the Israeli president's trip to the Netherlands, where he attended the opening of a new Holocaust museum in Amsterdam. According to Haaretz, the meeting with Wilders did not appear on the official schedule of Herzog ahead of the visit.

Herzog's visit was met with demonstrations by pro-Palestinian protesters, with many holding signs pointing towards the direction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The Rights Forum, a Dutch organisation focusing on peace in the Middle East through international law and human rights, criticised Herzog's visit, citing his previous statements on Israel's war on Gaza, calling it "genocidal incitement".

Herzog had said earlier in the war that "an entire nation" was responsible for Hamas' 7 October attack on Israel which killed 1,160 people.

His comments were cited during an ICJ verdict on whether Israel had broken its obligations under the genocide convention where it ruled it was plausible it had.

Herzog's visit was also criticised by the March 30 Movement, who said that that it had filed complaints against Herzog and accused the Dutch government of complicity in Israel's war on Gaza if it did not arrest him.

Israel's war on Gaza, which has been ongoing since October 7, has killed 31,184 Palestinians, with a further 72,889 injured.