Dutch ex-PM calls for war crimes prosecution –
Former Dutch prime minister Dries van Agt has called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be tried for war crimes, as the latter landed in The Hague on Tuesday on a diplomatic visit, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) reports.
Van Agt, 85, is a pro-Palestinian activist who in 2010 argued that a Jewish state should have been created in Germany rather than Israel, according to JTA.
He told the NPO 1 public television channel on Monday that “a war criminal coming to this country” and that Netanyahu should be sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The occupation and expansion… building of settlements, of occupied territory, this is according to the Rome Statute, which is… the setup… the statute on which the international criminal court is based, in so many words, a war crime,” JTA quoted Van Agt as saying. “So why should we receive someone who continues with such things, we could have sent him right away to the international criminal court, that would have been better.”
Van Agt also made a controversial statement in 1972, while serving as justice minister, that “I am only an Aryan” when speaking to a reporter about his plan to release Nazi prisoners for health reasons – later explaining that he intended to say that his goal would be difficult to accomplish because, he said, his Jewish predecessor had failed in his attempts to do so.
The former prime minister also drew criticism for repeatedly saying Israel uses excessive force, while he cast a deciding vote in favor of an armed takeover of a hijacked train in 1977, leading to the deaths of six terrorists and two hostages.