Dutch Council of Churches’ View on PLO

The Netherlands Council of Churches, in reply to on appeal by the Council of Christian Churches in the Middle East,that the Palestine Liberation Organization be recognized, has stated that it will only do so if the PLO recognizes the political existence and the security of the State of Israel and that mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel should be achieved through negatiations

In addition, the Dutch Council said, Israel must recognize the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination and a political existence. The Council said it is aware that at the moment the PLO is the only organized voice of the Palestinian people and seems to be the only body able to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians for a settlement.

It is precisely for this reason, the Council continued, that it is essential that the PLO recognize Israel’s right to exist and to security. Deleting certain paragraphs from the PLO charter would be a step in this direction, the Council noted.

“It is with a feeling of shame and a sense of guilt that during the Second World War the majority of the Dutch people did too little or nothing at all to save Jewish lives,” the Council wrote. “For this reason we remain sensitive to inuustice caused to the Jews and violence to which they are still subjected.”

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