Wilders' Palestine statement angers Jordan

24th June 2010, Comments 0 comments


The anti-Islam Freedom Party of Dutch MP Geert Wilders has provoked anger in Jordan. The party leader said in a speech last week that "Jordan is Palestine".

"If you change the name of that country, the Middle East conflict would be solved and the Palestinians would have their alternative homeland," he said. A similar statement can be found in the Freedom Party's election manifesto. The party won 24 of the 150 seats in the Dutch Lower House in the 9 June general election.

Clarification Jordan's Minister of Media and Communications, Nabil al-Sharif, compared the Freedom Party's view to that of the orthodox right in Israel and has asked for an explanation.

The interim chair of the Senate Commission for External Relations, Marouf Bakhit, rejected the "fanatical" statements as being "in contradiction to international laws and conventions" as well as "a blatant infringement of the sovereignty and independence of Jordan as a member state of the United Nations".

Mr Bakhit emphasised that Jordan will continue to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and for the return of all Palestinian refugees.

Undermine Marouf Bakhit added that statements like Geert Wilders' do nothing but undermine attempts to achieve peace in the region.

Abdullah Latif of the Islamic Action Front party denounced the words spoken by the Dutch Freedom Party leader. He said utterances like these by European leaders do more harm than good because they only "drive up tensions between Islamists, secularists and everyone who wants the region to renew without violence".

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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