Diplomacy: Norway, Spain and Ireland recognize Palestine as a state

Diplomacy: Norway, Spain and Ireland recognize Palestine as a state

The outrage in Israel has not stopped the EU countries Spain and Ireland, as well as Norway, from recognizing a Palestinian state in the midst of the Gaza war. The implementation of the decision only adds fuel to the diplomatic fire.

If Spain, Ireland and Norway have their way, the clock should be turned back 57 years to resolve the Middle East conflict. In these three countries, the recognition of a state of Palestine, announced a week ago in the middle of the Gaza war, has come into force, based on the borders before the Six-Day War of 1967.

The implementation of the controversial measure has once again caused outrage in Israel to boil over. In the heated diplomatic conflict, the left-wing government in Madrid is the main target of Israeli verbal attacks.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has not yet responded to new accusations from Israel. Shortly before the approval of the recognition by his Council of Ministers in Madrid, he stressed that the recognition of a Palestinian state was not directed against anyone – “especially not against Israel, a friendly people that we respect, that we value and with whom we want to have the best possible relations”. The “historic decision has a single goal: to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace”.

However, Sánchez explained in detail how the State of Palestine is envisaged. It must “first and foremost be viable. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip must be connected by a corridor, with East Jerusalem as the capital and united under the legitimate government of the Palestinian Authority.” “In accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and with the traditional position of the EU,” this state must have the borders of 1967, before the Six-Day War.

Dublin: Two-state solution only way for peace and Palestine

In Ireland, Prime Minister Simon Harris spoke of an important step. “It is about the belief that a two-state solution is the only way for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security,” he told RTÉ. The recognition sends a signal to the world that practical steps can be taken to maintain the hope and goal of a two-state solution at a time when others are trying to bomb it into oblivion.

Europe can and must do much more to prevent tragedies such as Sunday night’s devastating attack on a tent camp with refugee civilians in the Gaza Strip, Harris demanded. A new despicable development is emerging – that something horrific is happening and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is saying it was a tragic mistake, he criticized.

Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide spoke of a “milestone in relations between Norway and Palestine”. He was confident that the Palestinian government would lay the foundations for a government in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip after a ceasefire. He also denounced Israel’s government. It was regrettable that it was showing “no signs of constructive engagement”. The international community must increase its political and economic support for Palestine and continue to work towards a two-state solution.

Israel restricts work of Spanish diplomats

The government in Jerusalem summoned the ambassadors of the three countries last week immediately after the announcement to reprimand them. Netanyahu described the recognition of Palestine as a “reward for terrorism”. The dispute with Spain in particular is escalating daily. The left-wing government in Madrid had already suspended all arms exports to Israel shortly after the Islamist Hamas attack on Israel and the start of military operations in Gaza. Defense Minister Margarita Robles was now the first government official to speak of a “genocide” in Gaza. Israel vehemently denies this accusation.

Israel has now restricted the work of Spanish diplomats in the country. The Spanish embassy in Tel Aviv and the consulate general in East Jerusalem are now prohibited from offering their services to Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Foreign Minister Israel Katz published several extremely critical, sometimes provocative statements and videos against Spain on X.

Foreign Minister Katz attacks Sánchez

On Tuesday, Katz went one step further. He wrote on X: “If you do not fire your deputy (Yolanda Díaz) and declare recognition of a Palestinian state – you are involved in incitement to murder the Jewish people and to war crimes.” In a video, Díaz said: “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” The sentence means that there should be a free Palestine in an area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean – where Israel is now located. From Israel’s point of view, it is a call to expel or kill the Jews in the State of Israel.

Netanyahu and the terrorist organization Hamas, which denies Israel’s right to exist, reject a two-state solution. Right-wing extremist members of Netanyahu’s government even want Israel to resettle the Gaza Strip. According to various opinion polls, a majority of Israelis are against the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Many reject this on the grounds that it would be a “reward” for the Hamas massacre in the Israeli border region on October 7.

Majority of Palestinians rely on armed struggle

A recent survey by the Palestinian polling institute PSR in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation found that 61 percent of Palestinians no longer believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state is possible due to Israeli settlement construction. A majority continue to rely on armed struggle as the best means of ending the Israeli occupation.

Several countries recognize Palestine as a state. However, this does not apply to the most influential Western nations such as the USA and Great Britain, as well as the majority of EU states. The Danish parliament voted against a bill on Tuesday that would have recognized Palestine, following Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s lead. “The basis for recognizing Palestine as a state has not yet been established. The prerequisite for this is that a country has control over its own territory and functioning authorities, and that is not the case at the moment,” he said last week.

According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Germany is also not currently planning to recognize Palestine as a separate state. There is no clarity about the territory and other questions, he said. Last week, Sánchez had already expressed the hope that “many countries” would follow the example of Madrid, Oslo and Dublin.

Source: Stern

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