Dutch registry to include ‘Palestine’ as official birthplace

The move – recognizing ‘Palestine,’ the ‘West Bank’ and the ‘Gaza Strip’ – is part of The Netherlands’ stance not to recognize Israeli sovereignty over areas liberated in 1967.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

“Palestine” will now be on the list of countries people can register as a place of birth in the Netherlands, the Volkskrant newspaper reported last week. The “Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem” will be on the list of choices as well.

According to the Dutch daily, the change was made due to a case brought to the European Court of Justice by a citizen who demanded the right to be registered as born in Palestine instead of Israel.

The Interior Ministry noted in a statement that the move accorded well with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas,” although it also insisted that this did not mean Amsterdam recognized Palestine as an independent state. To do so would go against European Union policy, which is to withhold such recognition until after Israel and the Palestinian Authority conclude a peace agreement. Only Sweden has gone against this policy among EU members by recognizing “Palestine” as a state in 2014.

Secretary of State for Interior Affairs Raymond Knops announced the change Saturday after dealing with a parliamentary question that was posed to the government in December. It was asked why a person born in “occupied Palestinian territory (Eastern Jerusalem)” could not give “Palestine” as his place of birth. If he didn’t want to choose “Israel,” in the country’s Personal Records Database, the only other answer he could select was “unknown.”

Knops explained “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas,” although it does not go so far as to recognize a Palestinian state.

Since the name “Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem” “derives from the Oslo Accords and U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Knops said, it will now be added to the national registry for all those born after Israel was created in 1948. He especially referred to Resolution 478, which in 1980 condemned Israel’s annexation of eastern Jerusalem, as well as the Jerusalem Law declaring the city to be the country’s “complete and united” capital, as a violation of international law.

The change to the registry can be seen as part of Amsterdam’s ongoing hostility to Israel. Just this week, it was revealed that the extreme leftist B’Tselem organization was paid €176,000 by the Dutch government to smear Israel’s High Court of Justice as proving legal cover to what it deems the “occupation.”