Amid international efforts to flourish the peace industry, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is due next week to visit Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Under the past Dutch presidency of the European Union (EU
), the Dutch government has put a lot of efforts to enhance the EU
involvement in the Middle East diplomatic process. However, the costs of these efforts have been enormous. Instead of providing incentives to ensure Israel respects international humanitarian law, under the leadership of the Netherlands, Israel received rewards without withdrawing one single soldier from Gaza.