A New, Pro-Israeli Government in the Netherlands

Six months after the Dutch elections, in which the strength of the right-wing parties in the country significantly increased probably related to the Dutch reaction to the October 7th massacre in Israel, the parties reached agreements about forming a new coalition to lead the country in the coming years. The Netherlands is a small country, but it is very significant for the global economy; it is the 17th largest economy in the world (twice the size of the Israeli economy, and even larger than Saudi Arabia and Turkey), and has the main trading port of the European continent in the city of Rotterdam.

The dominant figure in the new government is Geert Wilders, the head of the Party for Freedom. Wilders’ party grew significantly in this election and will be the largest in the new coalition. Nevertheless, Wilders himself will probably not be prime minister, as he is a somewhat controversial figure. Instead, the office will be filled by a more symbolic compromise candidate (probably Ronald Felestrak, a doctor and entrepreneur by profession), symbolizing political responsibility on Wilders’ part.

Wilders is known to be a strong supporter of the State of Israel who even volunteered at a kibbutz for a year in his youth and has continued to express support for Israel in the past and consistently since October 7th. For the Dutch, the issue of how to best relate to the large number of Muslim refugees in the Netherlands is the main issue on the agenda of the new government. Wilders is considered to have extreme views on Islam, and the government will probably have a tougher immigration policy than currently exists. As part of the coalition agreements, it was determined that the new Dutch government would discuss the appropriate date for the transfer of the Dutch embassy to Jerusalem – which is currently in Ramat Gan, next to Tel Aviv – a step that would be a very important international show of support for Israel at this time.

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