74453 8/11/2006 8:33 06THEHAGUE1758 Embassy The Hague CONFIDENTIAL 06STATE130904 VZCZCXYZ0002 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHTC #1758/01 2230833 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 110833Z AUG 06 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6523 INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 4140 RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 1346 RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 0190 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 1617 RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 4035 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 1130 RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 0163 RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA PRIORITY 0584 RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 1852 RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE PRIORITY 0078 RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 0817 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1570 RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA PRIORITY 0318 RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 0240 RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 0268 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0545 RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 5069 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1298 RUEHPL/AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS PRIORITY 0053 RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE PRIORITY 1106 RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 0550 RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1340 RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 2856 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1712 RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW PRIORITY 1995 C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 001758
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/2016 TAGS: PHUM, PREL, KPAO, UNRCR-1, NL SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/LEBANON: DUTCH WILL OPPOSE UNBALANCED HRC RESOLUTION
REF: A. STATE 130904
B. STATE 130145
Classified By: AMBASSADOR ROLAND ARNALL FOR REASONS 1.4 (B,D)
1. (C) Summary: The Dutch find the draft Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on Lebanon "unacceptable" and will speak out against it publicly. According to Dutch Foreign Minister Bot, the HRC risks making itself irrelevant by adopting such a one-sided resolution. Although Bot has been attacked in Parliament for his allegedly "pro-Israeli" views, he told Ambassador Arnall on August 10 that the Dutch will continue to take an "even-handed" approach to the situation that takes Israel's legitimate security concerns into account. Bot noted that Hizballah's unexpected staying power had been an eye-opener for most Europeans, and privately suggested that Hizballah and its backers needed to be "taught a lesson." End Summary.
HRC DRAFT RESOLUTION "UNACCEPTABLE"
2. (C) Ambassador Arnall raised the upcoming special session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) with Dutch Foreign Minister Bot on August 10. Noting that the draft OIC-sponsored resolution (ref a) was obviously and offensively one-sided, the Ambassador urged Bot to take a clear, public stand against it. Bot agreed that the draft resolution was "unacceptable" and stressed that the Dutch would definitely oppose it in the Council. He conceded, however, that the resolution would probably still pass -- a result he said did not augur well for the HRC's future.
3. (C) Noting that establishing the HRC had been a high priority for the Dutch, Bot expressed frustration that the organization appeared to be falling into the same self-destructive pattern of its predecessor. Bot stressed that the HRC would quickly lose credibility if it continued act in such and "unbalanced" manner. Asked whether he intended to state these views publicly, Bot responded that he was prepared to use "the strongest language" to express Dutch concerns.
4. (C) In separate conversation with POLCOUNS on August 9, Acting MFA Political Director Wim Geerts said that the Dutch were not happy about the special session, but had been powerless to prevent it. While he had not seen the draft resolution at that point, Geerts suggested that the Dutch hoped to work with other WEOG members to "disassociate" themselves from what he anticipated would be an unacceptable text.
5. (C) During a broader discussion of the situation in Lebanon, Bot argued that the Western World "could not allow itself to be held hostage by Iran and Hizballah." He stressed that Hizballah's ability to withstand Israeli attacks while continuing to rain rockets on Israel demonstrated that Hizballah was stronger -- and more closely linked to Tehran and Damascus -- than most Europeans had realized. Although the media focus on Lebanese civilian casualties was understandably generating public sympathy, he added, there was also a growing realization of the need to
disarm Hizballah and "teach a lesson" to its backers.
6. (C) Bot noted that he had been bitterly attacked in parliament for taking a "pro-Israeli" position in public statements and at the August 1 GAERC meeting. Bot argued that this was an unfair characterization of his "even-handed" position, and criticized opposition Labor Party spokesman Bert Koenders for seeking to exploit the issue for election purposes. On the other hand, he made clear that he would continue to ensure that Israel's legitimate security concerns and right of self-defense were not forgotten in the public debate. He added that the adoption of a UNSC resolution, the deployment of a "serious" force to Southern Lebanon, and credible efforts to disarm Hizballah would all help shift attention in a positive direction.