Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

PLO Meeting in the Hague Draws Big Crowd, but Few Politicians

November 29, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Palestine Liberation Organization drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,000 to a public meeting in The Hague last week, dedicated to Palestinian national aspirations.

Several hundred friends of Israel demonstrated outside.

The Nov. 23 event, organized by the PLO’s representative here, Afif Safieh, was scheduled to coincide, more or less, with the United Nations annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

It also marked the first anniversary of the proclamation of an “independent Palestine,” by the Palestine National Council and the upcoming second anniversary of the start of the intifada.

That agglomeration of events apparently was too much for Holland’s four largest political parties, which had planned to send speakers, but backed off at the last minute.

There was no representative from the Foreign Ministry, though a former foreign minister, Laborite Max van der Stoel, attended.

But Safieh seemed satisfied. He predicted that the Palestine information office here will be upgraded and receive diplomatic status.

Arab diplomats attended, but the Greek ambassador was the only envoy from a European Community member state.

Alman Metten, a pro-Palestinian member of the Dutch Labor Party, spoke in his capacity as a deputy of the Parliament of Europe. The Dutch Parliament was represented by a lone member from a small extreme left-wing faction.

The principal speaker was Professor Dirk Mulder, chairman of the Netherlands Council of Churches. Although his participation had the council’s unanimous approval, there was criticism from some pro-Israel Protestant groups and by the Consultative Council of Jews and Christians.

Recommended from JTA