Spain, Norway, Ireland Back Palestinian Statehood

( – Ireland, Norway and Spain have united in a joint effort to formally recognize Palestine as a state. The move follows mounting criticism of Tel Aviv from the global community over its handling of its assault on Gaza, especially its controversial Rafah offensive. Spain’s President Pedro Sánchez called it a “historic decision” with the sole aim of working towards peace in both Israel and Palestine. The decisions do not impact the war itself but were promptly criticized by the Israeli regime. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz equated the vice president of Spain with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. Katz claimed that Spain’s government was “complicit” in encouraging the genocide of Jews.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris argued that the decisions tell the world that a country can take “practical actions” to work towards a two-state solution despite the efforts of others to bomb the region “into oblivion”. Leftist politicians in Ireland have long called on the country to do more to support the plight of Palestinians; lawmaker Richard Boyd Barrett, of the People Before Profit Party, slated the “hypocrisy” of the Irish government’s sanctions against Russia in 2022, arguing that it should be enforcing similar sanctions against Israel in response to its treatment of Palestinians.

Accusations of hypocrisy continued following the October 7 attacks, with many left-wing commentators blasting the statements of several western leaders, and those in Ukraine, that did not condemn Israel’s occupation of Gaza. Now that Sweden and Finland have joined NATO, Norway remains one of few officially neutral states in a shrinking buffer zone between the alliance and Russia. Nine members of the European Union have now joined Norway in recognizing Palestinian statehood, and Slovenia and Malta are expected to follow suit.

The International Crimes Court has requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as well as the leaders of Hamas over alleged war crimes committed by both sides. Though Palestine is an ICC member, neither the U.S. nor Israel are, and both condemned the equating of Israel’s government with Hamas. Though Palestine Authority leaders have not been charged, Netanyahu has promised to block rule by the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. Following the decision to recognize Palestine as a state, Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin claimed to have seen “significant discussion” with E.U. leaders on sanctions against Israel.

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