The reason I'm posting this now is because of this article showing, yet again, Israel Derangement Syndrome - in Holland.
The Netherlands would like to limit the export of Dutch-bred dogs to Israel, where the army uses them in occupied Palestinian territories, but is not allowed to do that under current EU rules.
The Dutch minister for foreign trade, Lilianne Ploumen, told members of the Dutch parliament in a letter on Tuesday (9 February) that she saw no legal possibilities for curbing the export of service dogs.
EU member states can only limit national exports under certain conditions – export bans are usually decided on at the European level.
Ploumen had asked the European Commission's legal service if the export of dogs could be limited under the so-called dual-use regulation, which allows unilateral national bans under some circumstances. The regulation sets out common European rules about goods, software, and technology which can be used for a military as well as a civilian purpose.
But in her letter, she said that the commission considered service dogs as having a civilian purpose, even when they are accompanied by soldiers.
The Dutch wish to have more control over dog exports came after the national newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported in October 2015 that Dutch dogs were being used by the Israeli army on patrols in Palestinian territories, and that they had bitten Palestinian civilians, including minors.
The paper quoted humanitarian lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, who said Israel “uses the dogs as weapons” and that the exports should stop.
But that is unlikely to happen.
Ploumen said the Netherlands had also raised the issue in a forum with other member states called the Working Party on Conventional Arms Export. But it could not find a majority to support its wish to consider service dogs as potentially having a military use.
The newspaper article that they refer to says, without any documentation, that "Palestinians, including minors, are regularly bitten by Dutch service dogs."
Many of the IDF dogs are Holland Shepherds.
- Detect border fence breaches
- Sniffing for bombs and explosives
- Searching for guns and weapons
- Find people in collapsed buildings
In fact, IDF dogs have been dispatched to find earthquake victims worldwide. They have saved lives in Gaza by entering booby-trapped buildings before soldiers.
Last year, some soldiers acted unprofessionally by having a dog attack a stone throwing Arab youth and making fun of the kid. As a result, the IDF temporarily suspended all such K9 activities in the West Bank, tightened up the rules of when dogs can be used and severely reprimanded the soldiers.
But that incident was caught on video, and that single event was probably what caused the Dutch to see how to block their dogs from going to Israel. It was certainly the only event mentioned in the newspaper article that caused the furor that claimed that such incidents happen "regularly."
By all accounts, the dogs - trained in the Oketz unit - are professional. They are not used to terrorize random Palestinians. They are used, at most, as a means to break up violent demonstrations. The Dutch have taken the 2015 incident and want to punish Israel, without doing the slightest investigation and not even apparently bothering to ask any Israeli or IDF official about the false and exaggerated reports of the IDF using the dogs against civilians.
When Americans see a video of police brutality, there is understandable outrage but generally the media and politicians will at least pretend to get the other side of the story. But the Dutch government apparently didn't extend Israel that minimal courtesy before attempting to impose its own misinformed idea of ethics on an army that uses dogs to save lives. (In this case, even though the use of the dogs violated the IDF's own rules, the victim was still no innocent child, but an active stone-thrower.)
A sure sign of bias is believing one side of a story and not bothering to check the other - because it just seems true to the biased individual. The idea that the IDF unleashes their dogs, after intense training, to go after Arab kids for fun is nothing less than slander. But the Dutch government believes it without a second thought.
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