Shalom Life | December 20, 2015

Amsterdam Ditches Sister City Agreement With Tel Aviv

Dutch mayor yields to pro-Palestinian pressure, cancels agreement with Tel Aviv

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: June 26th, 2015 in News » World

Amsterdam's mayor has backtracked on an agreement that would have Amsterdam and Tel Aviv linked as twin towns after pressure from the pro-Palestinian lobby.

Mayor Eberhard Van der Laan recently visited Tel Aviv for the city's annual gay pride parade earlier this month. While touring the White City, the mayor expressed his admiration for Tel Aviv, its LGBTQ tolerance, and its booming start-up scene.

However, after announcing his intentions to tighten the connection between the two cities, Van der Laan found himself under fire from left wing parties and Dutch pro-Palestinian activist groups. In an apparently futile attempt to balance the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians, the mayor also announced his intentions to make Amsterdam a twin city to both Tel Aviv and the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

Nevertheless, the mayor's compromise failed to satisfy the pro-Palestinian lobby, and on Thursday he announced that Amsterdam would be abandoning the agreement altogether.

Ironically, the decision to abandon the agreement came at the same time as an announcement by low-cost British airline EasyJet that it would begin offering a new route from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv. The cost for a seat on this new route is expected to be under 50 Euros.

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