Israel furious over three EU states recognising Palestine

  • Post last modified:May 23, 2024
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Store said that:

recognition of Palestine is a means of supporting the moderate forces which have been losing ground in this protracted and brutal conflict. In the midst of a war, with tens of thousands killed and injured, we must keep alive the only alternative that offers a political solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike: Two states, living side by side, in peace and security.

Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez said his Israeli counterpart Benyamin Netanyahu was:

causing so much pain, destruction and resentment in Gaza and the rest of Palestine that the two-state solution is in danger.

And, Irish prime minister Simon Harris called the 7 October attack “barbaric” but stressed that:

a two-state solution is the only way out of the generational cycles of violence, retaliation and resentment.

‘Essential step’

The Palestine Liberation Organization, seen internationally as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, hailed the European moves as “historical”.

Hamas also welcomed “an important step towards affirming our right to our land.” Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas political bureau member, said it would mark:

a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue.

The ambassador of the state of Palestine to the UK, Husam Zomlot, said the recognition was “an inalienable right”:

A Palestinian lawyer said:

Member of the European Parliament Clare Daly called the recognition a “symbolic gesture”:

The jig is up for Israel

Israel reacted with fury after European nations joined the majority of the world in recognising Palestine. Laughably, Israel said the move amounted to “rewarding terrorism.” Israel also said it was recalling its envoys to Dublin, Oslo, and Madrid for “urgent consultations” and summoned the three European ambassadors for a rebuke.

This comes just days after the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor put forward the case to arrest top Israeli officials for war crimes. As the Canary’s James Wright reported:

International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Karim Khan has submitted his case to ICC judges that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant should face arrest for war crimes. However, there is every possibility countries like the UK could give them diplomatic protection.

The international crimes include murder and the collective punishment of Palestinians through using starvation as a weapon and intentionally targeting the civilian population.

Since 7 October, Israel has killed at least 35,960 Palestinian people including over 15,000 children.

Israel also responded to the talk of arrest warrants with fire and fury.

Netanyahu spoke in English – clearly wanting his message to reach his financial sponsors in the West – saying the possibility of arrest was “a moral outrage of historic proportions.”

It’s telling that Israel has responded with such fury to the absolute crumbs of support emanating from EU states. Clearly, the genocidal state has become accustomed to operating with impunity. The least states like Ireland, Norway, and Spain can do is recognise what states in the Global South have long known – Palestine has an inalienable right to exist.

Israel’s bombing continues

Palestine clearly needs much more than symbolic gestures. Political analyst Ines Abdul Razek, who heads the Palestine Institute for Public Democracy, labelled the EU states decision symbolic but said it was “not a great victory”. Razek explained:

What we need is actual measures, including sanctions and arms embargoes, that can stop the genocide, the erasure of our people and colonisation of our land, which Israel has been conducting with total impunity”

Palestine needs much more material and robust action than symbolic gesture. An Agence France-Presse (AFP) team has reported more air and artillery strikes as Israel continues its ground invasion into Rafah. More Israeli air strikes have hit Gaza City, Jabalia, and Zeitun.

Ten people were killed in the central town of Al-Zawaida overnight on Wednesday 22 May, according to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. The Gaza civil defence agency said six bodies were recovered from the rubble of a family house in Jabalia.

The World Health Organization has said northern Gaza’s last two functioning hospitals, Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan, were besieged by Israeli forces, with more than 200 patients trapped inside. Israeli troops began their ground assault on Rafah early this month, defying international opposition over fears for the more than one million civilians trapped in the city.

Fortress Europe: still not holding the moral high ground

Israel has ordered mass evacuations from the city, and the UN says more than 800,000 people have fled. Heavy fighting has also rocked the other major Palestinian territory, the occupied West Bank, where an Israeli raid continued in the city of Jenin. Explosions and gunfire were heard from inside the Jenin refugee camp, an AFP correspondent said, after eight Palestinians were killed on Tuesday 21 May.

The fact that Israel continues its genocide into Rafah, continues to strike other areas of Palestine, terrorises Palestinians – and yet has the audacity to complain about symbolic and non-material gestures from EU states is testament to how fundamentally they have the support and backing of Western states. Fortress Europe is not the moral standard it holds itself to be, and this is being laid bare more than ever.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

Featured image via YouTube screenshot/Channel 4 News

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