Connect with us

RSS

Spain, Norway, Ireland Officially Recognize Palestinian State as Denmark’s Parliament Rejects Proposal

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares (center), Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (right), and Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin (left) gesture after a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Spain, Norway, and Ireland officially recognized a Palestinian state on Tuesday, prompting outrage in Israel, whose foreign minister described the move as “incitement to genocide” against the Jewish people.

The coordinated announcement by Madrid, Oslo, and Dublin came on the same day that Denmark’s parliament rejected such a proposal, joining several European countries that have said the conditions have not been met yet to recognize a Palestinian state.

However, officials in Spain, Norway, and Ireland argued such a move would help foster a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and lead to lasting peace in the region, explaining that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza accelerated their plans.

“It’s the only way of advancing toward what everyone recognizes as the only possible solution to achieve a peaceful future, one of a Palestinian state that lives side by side with the Israeli state in peace and security,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised address.

Sanchez explained that Spain is recognizing a unified Palestinian state, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority (PA) with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on borders that were in place before the Six-Day War in 1967.

The PA currently exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, while its rival, the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, rules Gaza.

Norway described Tuesday’s announcement as a “milestone” in its relationship with the Palestinians.

“For more than 30 years, Norway has been one of the strongest advocates for a Palestinian state,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said in a statement. “Today, when Norway officially recognizes Palestine as a state, is a milestone in the relationship between Norway and Palestine.”

Meanwhile, Dublin said it plans to upgrade its representative office in the West Bank to a full embassy and the Palestinian mission in Ireland will also be offered full embassy status.

“The government recognizes Palestine as a sovereign and independent state and agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between Dublin and Ramallah,” Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said in a statement on Tuesday. “We had wanted to recognize Palestine at the end of a peace process. However, we have made this move alongside Spain and Norway to keep the miracle of peace alive.”

He added, “This decision of Ireland is about keeping hope alive. It is about believing that a two-state solution is the only way for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security.”

Harris also called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to listen to the world and stop the humanitarian catastrophe we are seeing in Gaza.”

Spain and Ireland have been among the most vocal critics of Israel since Oct. 7, when Hamas invaded the Jewish state from neighboring Gaza and launched the current war. The Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 people and abducted over 250 others as hostages in their rampage, the deadliest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Israel responded with an ongoing military campaign in Gaza aimed at freeing the hostages and destroying Hamas.

It remains unclear how exactly Spain, Norway, and Ireland envision Gaza being incorporated into a Palestinian state if Israel does not pursue its goal of fully removing Hamas from power and eliminating its terrorist infrastructure due to international pressure to halt its campaign.

Recent polling has found that the Palestinian people in both Gaza and the West Bank generally support the Oct. 7 massacre, want Hamas to remain in power in Gaza, and would back Hamas over the PA’s ruling Fatah party in elections.

On Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz lashed out at Spain on X/Twitter, saying Sanchez’s government was being “complicit in incitement to genocide against the Jewish people and in war crimes.”

He noted that Spain’s Minister of Labor and Second Vice-President Yolanda Diaz ended a speech last week with the phrase “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free” — a popular slogan among anti-Israel activists that has been widely interpreted as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Israel had repeatedly warned European countries that unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would effectively amount to a “reward for terrorism” that would hurt the chances of a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

Last week, Israel recalled its ambassadors from Spain, Norway, and Ireland for immediate consultations and reprimanded the three countries’ ambassadors residing in Israel over their governments’ announced plan to recognize a Palestinian state.

The three European envoys were summoned to meet with Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Yaakov Blitshtein in Jerusalem. During the meeting, the ambassadors were shown a newly released video of the moments when five female Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

In the video, Hamas terrorists force the young women, some of whom are teenagers, against a wall and threaten to kill them.

Of the 27 members of the European Union, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Sweden have already recognized a Palestinian state. Slovenia is expected to join them on Thursday, and Malta has said it could follow.

Britain and Australia have also said they are considering recognition of a Palestinian state. However, other countries have said the time is not right to do so.

On Tuesday, the Danish parliament rejected a proposal to recognize a Palestinian state, backing the government’s position that the necessary conditions were not in place.

Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen had previously said the Danish government could not recognize a Palestinian state because it did not have a single functioning authority or control over its own territory.

“We cannot recognize an independent Palestinian state, for the sole reason that the preconditions are not really there,” he said during a parliamentary debate in April.

Denmark is not alone. Last week, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said the conditions to officially recognize a Palestinian state have not yet been met.

“Our position is clear: the recognition of Palestine is not taboo for France,” Séjourné said in a statement.

“This is not just a symbolic issue or a question of political positioning, but a diplomatic tool in the service of the solution of two states living side by side in peace and security,” he continued. “France does not consider that the conditions have yet been met for this decision to have a real impact on this process.”

Germany similarly expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but added that a “process of dialogue” was needed to reach that point.

“An independent Palestinian state remains a firm goal of German foreign policy,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said at a news conference in Berlin. “It’s clear to us that this requires a process of dialogue.”

Some European lawmakers echoed that point. Michael Roth, head of the German parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, lambasted the moves to grant recognition.

“I fear this will not bring us any closer to the necessary two-state solution,” Roth told the German RND media outlet last week, adding that it also gives “the false impression that it was only the horrific terror by Hamas on Oct. 7 that led to a new positive dynamic in favor of the Palestinians.”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Wednesday that the US supports a two-state solution but believes it should be brought about through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“President Biden … has been equally emphatic on the record that that two-state solution should be brought about through direct negotiations through the parties, not for unilateral recognition,” Sullivan said.

The post Spain, Norway, Ireland Officially Recognize Palestinian State as Denmark’s Parliament Rejects Proposal first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

RSS

Timothée Chalamet to Play Lead Role in New Film About Jewish Ping Pong Champion Marty Reisman

Timothée Chalamet at the World Premiere of ‘Dune: Part Two’ held at the Leicester Square Gardens, London, United Kingdom on Feb. 15, 2024. Photo: Cover Media via Reuters Connect

French Jewish actor and Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet is set to star in and produce a new film about the late Jewish table tennis legend Marty Reisman.

Chalamat will play the lead role in “Marty Supreme,” written by Josh Safdie and Ronald Bronstein, who will also produce with Eli Bush and Anthony Katagas. The film is from producer A24, which also distributed Safdie’s past films “Uncut Gems” and “Good Time.” A24 took to social media on Tuesday to confirm that Chalamet has joined the project. A release date for the film has not been announced.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by A24 (@a24)

Nicknamed the “wizard of table tennis,” Reisman was an American professional ping pong champion who won 22 major table tennis titles between 1946 and 2002, including two United States Opens and a British Open. He won five bronze medals at the World Table Tennis Championships and, in 1997, became the oldest player to ever win an open national competition in a racket sport at the age of 67 by winning the United States National Hardbat Championship.

Reisman was known as “the Needle” for his slim frame and quick wit, and once opened for the Harlem Globetrotters with a ping pong comedy routine in which he used his shoes as paddles. He was also known for his flamboyant style and gravitated towards bright colored clothing, Borsalino fedoras, and Panama hats. Reisman was born in New York City and began playing table tennis as a child. He started his career as a hustler in Manhattan, playing for bets. He died in 2012 in Manhattan at the age of 82.

The Safdie bothers split up creatively earlier this year to pursue solo projects. “Marty Supreme” is the first time that Josh Safdie is directing a film since “Uncut Gems,” and his first solo feature directorial effort since 2008’s “The Pleasure of Being Robbed.” In 2019, Chalamat praised the Safdie brothers, saying they have “continuously put out contemporary, raw, and untethered work over the last decade, each film building on the traits of the prior, but never once sacrificing their innate grittiness.”

Chalamet’s latest film — James Mangold’s “A Complete Unknown,” in which he plays a young Bob Dylan — is currently in post-production.

The post Timothée Chalamet to Play Lead Role in New Film About Jewish Ping Pong Champion Marty Reisman first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

The Hostages Should Be an International Issue — Not Just an Israeli One

People walk past images of hostages kidnapped in the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas from Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 11, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The world witnessed an unprecedented crisis when citizens from 24 countries were abducted by Hamas and taken into Gaza as hostages on October 7, 2023.

Even now, there are hostages still being held by Hamas with 22 foreign nationalities: The United States, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Nepal, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tanzania, Thailand, the UK, and Ukraine.

Despite the representation of countries across the globe, the international outcry has been surprisingly — and sadly — muted. The “hostage issue” has largely been perceived as an Israeli one, leaving the responsibility of bringing them home to the IDF and the Israeli government.

According to Daniel Shek, a former Israeli diplomat and spokesperson for the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the international dimension of this crisis is crucial. He warns that the unprecedented kidnapping on October 7 should concern the global community, because something similar could happen anywhere in the world, especially if those responsible are not severely punished for it.

Shek’s assessment of the international response is blunt: “Sufficient? Certainly not.”

There has not been a significant, concerted effort among the various countries to work together or form some kind of pressure group to release the hostages, he says. Most of the concrete efforts to try and resolve the situation have been individual or independent of each other.

In late October 2023, Russian diplomats met with a Hamas delegation in Moscow and insisted that special attention be paid to eight Russian-Israeli citizens being held hostage in Gaza. By November, three of these hostages were released, including Roni Krivoi, a sound engineer working at the Nova Festival when it was attacked (one of the few men released from captivity during this time).

Following the initial release of 17 Thai citizens, two additional Thais were released from captivity in November. A Thai Muslim group claimed its efforts were key to ensuring the release of those hostages. “We were the sole party that spoke to Hamas since the beginning of the war to ask for the release of Thais,” Lerpong Syed, President of the Thai-Iran Alumni Association told Reuters.

One significant effort occurred on April 25, when the leaders of 17 countries joined US President Joe Biden in the first official joint statement calling for the release of the hostages. Among the countries were Argentina, France, Germany, and the UK:

We call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for over 200 days. They include our own citizens. The fate of the hostages and the civilian population in Gaza, who are protected under international law, is of international concern…We strongly support the ongoing mediation efforts in order to bring our people home. We reiterate our call on Hamas to release the hostages, and let us end this crisis so that collectively we can focus our efforts on bringing peace and stability to the region.

Since this statement, however, concrete efforts have been minimal. Biden has expressed a moral commitment to bringing Israeli-American hostages home and has met with them and their families on multiple occasions, but his success in doing so has been limited. There are still eight American citizens being held hostage in Gaza, five of whom are presumed alive.

Liat Beinin Atzili is a survivor.

It was my honor to welcome her to the White House this evening, hear firsthand about her resilience despite enduring the unthinkable, and promise her that my work isn’t done until we secure the release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas. pic.twitter.com/4fMneEkHzv

— President Biden (@POTUS) July 9, 2024

When compared to previous high-profile hostage situations, such as the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, the disparity in global attention is unmistakable. The Iranian hostage crisis gripped the American public and media, whereas the Israeli hostages, including US citizens, have not gained similar levels of attention from the American people.

In 2014, when 276 girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, by the Islamist militia group Boko Haram, a campaign for their return drew widespread international support.

The “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign included endorsements from prominent figures like Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. In stark contrast, the Israeli hostages’ plight has not seen comparable global outrage. This is despite the hard work of hostages’ families, who fly across the world to fight for their loved ones’ freedom.

In some cases, the hostages have even faced negative attention — a phenomenon unheard of in past crises. Posters of the hostages have been torn down around the world, and some media personalities have questioned the legitimacy of reports from the October 7 attacks.

Shek sums up the universal nature of this cause.

“It doesn’t really matter on which side of the political divide you are in Israel, the US, in France, or anywhere else. It doesn’t really matter on which side of the Israel-Palestine divide you are,” he says. “It’s unjust that innocent civilians have been held for nine months under inhumane conditions. They have been deprived of their rights under international law, and have had no decent medical care or access by the Red Cross. This should concern anyone who cares about human rights.”

The fact that 120 hostages from 22 different countries were taken from Israel by terrorists and remain in Gaza until today demands urgent international action. This hostage crisis is not only an Israeli issue, but a global one.

So, world, where is your outrage? Why don’t you fight to bring your people home?

Miriam Bash is from Livingston, New Jersey, and currently studying Psychology and Marketing at Washington University in St. Louis. Outside of class, she is involved in the TAMID Group at WashU, and is an active member of her campus’ Hillel and Chabad organizations. She is an intern at HonestReporting, where a version of this article first appeared.

The post The Hostages Should Be an International Issue — Not Just an Israeli One first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

Hamas Leader Deif’s Deadly Hideout: Media Overlook the Strategic Civilian Shield

Hamas executed one of its military commanders for informing the Israelis on the hideout used by Mohammad Deif (pictured above) during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge. PHOTO: Channel 2 News.

The IDF carried out one of its most significant operations in on Saturday since the start of the war against Hamas, executing a strike that targeted Mohammad Deif, one of the masterminds behind the October 7 attack.

Eliminating Deif, the leader of the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas’ second-in-command in Gaza, would be a significant blow. While there’s no official confirmation of his death, and Hamas claims Deif is “fine,” it’s worth noting that Saudi news network Al-Hadath reported that his deputy, Khan Younis Brigade Commander Rafa Salama, who was with Deif, was killed.

Deif, nicknamed “The Guest” for his habit of frequently changing locations to avoid detection, has long been hunted by Israel for his involvement in planning and executing numerous terror attacks throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including the 1996 Jaffa Road bus bombings.

Some facts about Saturday’s incident were immediately clear.

First, it took place in the al-Muwasi humanitarian zone near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, and the IDF is investigating reports that a number of civilians died.

Second, the airstrike targeted senior Hamas operatives.

This latter point was highlighted in almost every international media outlet, noting that Deif might have been killed and invariably referring to him as the Hamas “military chief” or the “architect of October 7,” with a few notable exceptions.

The BBC botched an initial report on July 13.

On its YouTube channel, the broadcaster framed the incident as “90 killed and 300 injured” in an Israeli strike on a Gaza “humanitarian area,” and only mentioned later in the report that Israel was targeting senior Hamas commanders, including Deif.

Similarly, CBS News neglected to mention Deif in its headline, describing it instead as an “Israeli attack on the southern Gaza Strip” that left “at least 90 dead,” according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

The Irish Times reported the death toll as fact, without any attribution, in a piece headlined, “Gaza: At least 90 killed, 300 injured in Israeli airstrike on designated humanitarian zone.”

The focus on the strike taking place in a designated humanitarian zone explains why there were civilian casualties. However, not a single media outlet commented on the fact that senior Hamas commanders, including Deif, were intentionally hiding there. This omission ignores the blatant reality that Hamas exploits civilian areas for cover, leading to inevitable deaths.

Journalism students are often taught about using the “five Ws” – Who? What? When? Where? Why? – to gather the essential points for a story. There used to be another critical question, one that many journalists now forget to ask: “How?”

How did Palestinian civilians die in an Israeli airstrike calculated to take out senior Hamas commanders?

The media should report the patently obvious answer: Deif and his terror acolytes chose to hide in the al-Muwasi humanitarian zone, using the men and women sheltering there as human shields.

Hamas leaders embed themselves within civilian populations because they want Palestinians to die, with Yahya Sinwar even describing civilian deaths as “necessary sacrifices.”

On Saturday, The New York Times detailed how Hamas terrorists, dressed in plain clothes, “hide under residential neighborhoods, storing their weapons in miles of tunnels and in houses, mosques, sofas – even a child’s bedroom – blurring the boundary between civilians and combatants.”

While the Israeli military makes every effort to minimize civilian harm – including, in this case, using accurate visualizations of the “open, wooded area” and acting on additional intelligence information–unintended casualties are a tragic consequence of Hamas’ strategy.

The fact is that Israel has a duty to defend its citizens and protect them from further harm. In the context of its war against Hamas in Gaza, this means eliminating the terrorists who perpetrated the very massacre that started this war.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Hamas Leader Deif’s Deadly Hideout: Media Overlook the Strategic Civilian Shield first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News