Queen of the Netherlands Tells Knesset of Challenges of Peace

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited Israel last week, stressing the special bond between her country and the Jewish state.

Addressing a special session of the Knesset, the queen likened the situation in Europe in the wake of World War II to the challenges state leaders in the Middle East face today.

"Once peace is concluded, reconciliation must follow," she said.

The Queen said that immediately after WWII in Europe, reconciliation among the countries that fought two World Wars seemed an impossible task.

"Yet inspiring statesmen then showed the way and found a forum for the necessary reconciliation," she said. "In three years, your country’s birth, peace could also be celebrated.

Earlier in the visit, the queen visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and attended a state dinner with President Ezer Weizman.

The president said, "Unfortunately, we cannot forget that over 80,000 Dutch Jews perished" during the Holocaust. But, he added, "We also remember the 4,000 Righteous Gentiles from your country."

During the state visit, the Dutch foreign minister met with Palestinian official Faisal Husseini in eastern Jerusalem. Israel Radio reported that the two discussed the peace process and the issue of Israeli settlements.

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