Ireland, Spain, Norway to recognize Palestinian statehood


While none of the G7 nations recognize Palestine, more than 140 of the 193 members of the United Nations do.

By Shawn Pogatchnik

The Irish official said Ireland planned to coordinate its announcement in tandem with similar moves in two other European capitals. | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Donations Are Down 40%

If you can’t imagine a future without the Information Clearing House , please consider supporting our work.

Please give today  $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100- To Use your debit/credit card or check click here:

or if you prefer to send a check or money order, (US Funds) Information Clearing House, PO Box 365 Imperial Beach, CA 91933. USA.

Low income readers: DON’T send money, just encourage others to subscribe.

To all who have assisted in the past. Thank you. Your help is greatly appreciated. Tom Feeley

DUBLIN — Ireland, Spain and Norway on Wednesday said they would officially recognize Palestine as a state from next week, in a diplomatic move that triggered fury in Israel.

In Dublin, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said Palestine deserved the same right to be recognized as a sovereign state that Ireland received after fighting a war of independence from Britain more than a century ago.

But he stressed that Ireland hoped to see resumed diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank — and did not want to throw a diplomatic lifeline to Hamas.

Regardless, Israel announced Wednesday morning that it was recalling its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway with “immediate” effect, in protest at the decisions.

“Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays,” said Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister. “After the Hamas terror organization carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing heinous sexual crimes witnessed by the world, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran by recognizing a Palestinian state.”

Ireland’s prime minister said that his country was looking to provide hope for the future.

“Recognizing the state of Palestine sends a message that there’s a viable alternative to the nihilism of Hamas. Hamas has nothing to offer but pain and suffering to Israelis and Palestinians alike,” Harris told a press conference outside his office in central Dublin.

Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin, standing beside Harris, said recognition of Palestinian statehood should spur Israel to reopen negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on level terms.

“We believe that the parties must, in the future, meet as equals — as two states, with the responsibility to come to a final settlement in direct negotiations,” Martin said.

An Irish member of European Parliament, Barry Andrews, said he hoped the moves by Dublin, Madrid and Oslo would prod the EU as a whole to go in the same diplomatic direction.

“It is now critical for the international community and especially the EU — which has extensive diplomatic and economic links to both Palestine and Israel — to recognize a Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders, if we are to have a chance at peace and the two-state solution,” Andrews said.

‘The time has come’

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide announced at a press conference Wednesday morning that their country will also recognize Palestine as a state from May 28, with the territorial demarcation between Palestine and Israel to be based on the borders from before June 4, 1967, when Israel captured the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War.

In Madrid, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said, “I want to make one thing clear, this recognition is not against anyone, it is not against the people of Israel, a people we appreciate. And much less is it against the Jews, an admirable people, whose history is linked to Spain. Nor is it in favor of Hamas, as some [far-right] Vox deputies say, in an attempt to take advantage of this matter.”

“The time has come to move from words to action,” Sánchez added.

Ireland in recent weeks has discussed the potential timing of recognizing Palestinian statehood in a series of meetings with the governments of Spain, Slovenia, Belgium, Norway and Malta, all of whom broadly share Ireland’s view that the EU as a whole ought to recognize Palestinian statehood.

Until now, Sweden has been the only EU member to have unilaterally recognized Palestine as a state. Several other European countries adopted the position before they joined the EU.

While none of the G7 nations recognize Palestine, more than 140 of the 193 members of the United Nations do.