On Tuesday, a group of Christians in the Netherlands celebrated Israel’s 70th birthday by passing out 2,000 pieces of cake in front of the Hague, a city in which love for Israel is sorely lacking.
Parliamentarians entering the Binnenhoff, the oldest House of Parliament in the world still in use, were greeted by Christians and Jews together who were cutting two enormous cakes decorated with Israeli flags. The event was meant to be a positive gesture to demonstrate their love for Israel, a sweet note in the battle against the bitter Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Binnenhoff is located in the Hague, a city in the western Netherlands that is the seat of the Holland’s government. The city is also home to the UN’s International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Court, two organizations that have been criticized for being manipulated by the Palestinians.
Helping Karel van Essen, one of the event’s organizers, hand out cake to the politicians and passersby were the Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Aviv Shir-On, Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, SGP party chairman Cees van der Staay and Christenunie party chairman Gert-Jan Seegers.
The ceremony was accompanied by Israeli songs and blowing of a shofar (ram’s horn). In addition to the parliamentarians, approximately 150 people attended the event.
Also on hand were the Director of Christians for Israel Rogier van Oordt and the chairman of “Pillar of Fire,” a faith-based Israel advocacy foundation, Cees van Horst.
“This was our way of saying we will always stand by Israel, even in these times when there is so much hatred and enmity against her,” Karl van Essen, one of the event’s organizers, told Breaking Israel News. “The Dutch Parliament is voting so often against Israel. This was an opportunity to show the Dutch politicians, the world, and Israel that so many of the citizens of the Netherlands still stand with Israel.”
Jack van der Tang, one of the heads of Pillar of Fire, also helped conceive and organize the event.
“Israel is the focus of argument between parties because of the issue of moving the embassy. But we don’t want to argue,” Van der Tang told Breaking Israel News. “We wanted to bring just a positive element; to have people wish Israel a happy 70th birthday.
“Even people who don’t want to move the embassy or have difficulties with certain policies had a chance to show they appreciate that Israel exists, simply by eating a piece of cake.”