ADL Tells Dutch Government:
Reduction of Pensions Troubling
Posted: August 29, 2002
Dutch citizens living in parts of Israel's post-1967 borders have recently been informed that their pension payments will be reduced in the coming months. The Social Insurance Bank of Holland, the administrative body responsible for distributing the benefits, notified some 400 Dutch seniors, mostly residents of Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Ramot and Gilo that were built on land seized in 1967, of imminent pension cuts.
The bank informed these senior citizens that they will only qualify for the higher pension if they move to a country in which the Netherlands has signed a benefits treaty. While the Netherlands has signed such a treaty with Israel, the bank contends that the Netherlands has never recognized Israel's control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 Six-Day War, and argues that the Israel/Netherlands benefits treaty does not apply to Dutch citizens living in these areas.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote to the Dutch government expressing concern about the policy and seeking an explanation for the decision.
August 28, 2002
His Excellency Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 20061
2500 EB The Hague
Dear Mr. Foreign Minister:
We are concerned by reports that pension payments to Dutch senior citizens living in Israel have been reduced.
We find it extremely troubling that the elderly are suffering for politicized reasons. The Dutch senior citizens living in the State of Israel and subject to the jurisdiction of the Israeli government should be treated in accordance with the bilateral treaty between The Netherlands and the State of Israel that provides for citizens to receive their full pension.
We look forward to your immediate attention to this matter.
Abraham H. Foxman
cc: His Excellency Boudewijn Johannes van Eenennaam
His Excellency Bob Hiensch
Media Watch ADL monitors electronic and print media reports about the Middle East