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Dutch MP Gidi Markuszower withdraws candidacy for minister.

Gidi Markuszower’s candidacy was withdrawn due to alleged “connections with a foreign intelligence service,” Dutch media reported last night.

Gidi Markuszower
Gidi Markuszower (PPV Part official pic)

Gidi Markuszower, a Dutch member of parliament born in Israel, was expected to serve as immigration minister in the next government. However, Dutch media reported last night that his candidacy was withdrawn due to alleged “connections with a foreign intelligence service.”

Consequently, Markuszower will not be able to serve as immigration minister or any other ministerial position. The official reason cited is that he “did not pass the security screening for new ministers of the Dutch intelligence service.” Despite this setback, he will continue serving as a member of the House of Representatives.

Markuszower, a long-time member of the extreme right-wing “Freedom” party led by Geert Wilders, is known for his pro-Israel positions, similar to Wilders himself, and has been involved in a series of scandals.

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In 2019, he was forced to withdraw from the election campaign after a warning from the Netherlands’ internal security service, which suggested he was in contact with a foreign intelligence agency. The Dutch media reported this agency to be the Mossad, although this report was never confirmed.

Born in Tel Aviv, Markuszower moved to Amsterdam with his family at a young age. He previously served as a spokesman for the Likud party in the Netherlands before transitioning to local politics. At 46, Markuszower was anticipated to take a hard line against immigration, a major issue for which his party saw unprecedented success in the recent elections. In 2021, he described the official immigration policy as “a crime against the Dutch people.”

In addition to his role as immigration minister, Markuszower was slated to be one of three ministers holding the position of deputy prime minister. This role involves assuming part of the prime minister’s responsibilities if they are absent or unable to function.

Markuszower’s history of controversies includes a call in 2010 for a boycott of members of the Jewish community who supported the UN’s Goldstone report, which accused Israel of violations of international law during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. He labeled these supporters as “traitors from within.”

The new government in the Netherlands is expected to be headed by Dick Schoof, who has a notable record in leading the fight against terrorism. This decision is part of the agreements between the Freedom Party and its coalition partners, ensuring a non-partisan figure in the prime ministerial role. Geert Wilders agreed to forgo the prime ministership due to his controversial statements against Muslims, thereby facilitating the formation of a government led by his party.



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