EU fractures as allies turn on Ireland after it recognises Palestine state

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun15,2024

EU leaders have condemned Ireland‘s decision to recognise Palestine as an official State, underscoring the deepening divide within the European Union over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a move that has sparked both praise and controversy, Ireland, in partnership with Norway and Spain, has formally acknowledged Palestine’s statehood, while other EU nations, including sympathetic ones like Slovenia, Belgium, and Portugal, have refrained from doing so.

Belgium, known for its pro-Palestinian stance within the EU, criticised Spain and Ireland for what it deemed “gesture politics”.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stressed that “symbolism solves nothing”, advocating for recognition to be used strategically in advancing political discussions.

The decision came amid escalating tensions in Gaza, with most European nations, including France, Germany, and Italy, viewing recognition as premature, preferring it to be part of a comprehensive peace agreement.

However, EU criticism towards Israel has been mounting, with increased support for the Palestinian Authority.

European leaders have been vocal about the need for more significant action to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and hold Israel accountable for its actions.

Irish Premier Simon Harris said “Europe could be doing a hell of a lot more”, urging the EU to consider sanctions against Israel if it breaches international humanitarian law.

Harris described the recognition of Palestine as “historic and important”, emphasising its role in signalling support for a two-state solution amid ongoing violence.

Ireland’s decision involves upgrading the Palestinian Mission in Ireland to an embassy and reciprocally upgrading its representative office in Ramallah.

While the move has garnered praise from Palestinian officials and supporters, it has drawn ire from Israel. Israeli Ambassador Dana Erlich expressed concern about its impact on Israeli investors in Ireland’s IT sector, while Israel‘s Foreign Affairs Minister issued a formal protest to the Irish, Spanish, and Norwegian ambassadors.

In response to criticisms, Irish Deputy Premier Micheal Martin dismissed claims that recognising Palestine was anti-Israel, attributing the move to frustration over Israel‘s perceived obstruction of a two-state solution. Martin anticipates more EU member states following suit in recognising Palestine in the near future.

The decision has been hailed as a significant step towards peace by Palestinian representatives, with Ambassador Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid expressing hope for the future.

However, it underscores the deepening divide within the EU over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Ireland emerging as a focal point for advocating Palestinian statehood.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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