European countries formally recognize Palestinian state | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

European countries formally recognize Palestinian state

From right: Norway's Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares Bueno and Ireland's Foreign Minister Micheal Martin Associated Press/Photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert

European countries formally recognize Palestinian state

The governments of Norway, Spain, and Ireland on Tuesday formally recognized a Palestinian state. Norway called the decision a milestone in its relationship with the Palestinian people. Spain was joining more than 140 other governments in recognizing the Palestinian state, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in his remarks. Ireland, in its statement on recognizing the state, called again for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

What would be the boundaries of the proposed Palestinian state? Norway explained that it was recognizing a Palestinian state comprising the territory held by Palestinians between 1949 and 1967. The state would be primarily situated within the West Bank and retain control of the Gaza Strip.

How do everyday Europeans feel about this? People in Spain have for decades been sympathetic to the cause of Palestinians, said Joel Forster, an English-speaking journalist in Spain. Student movements and other activists in the country have long called for increased support for Palestinians due to their poverty and vulnerability compared to Israel, he said.

That’s different from the situation in countries like Germany, France, Britain, and the Netherlands, where Nazism and anti-Semitism carry extremely negative connotations. In those countries, many everyday citizens support Israel as opposed to the Palestinians, Forster said.

Does that have anything to do with immigration? Not necessarily, Forster said. Many Arab and Muslim voters have joined protests supporting the Palestinian cause, but those protests have largely been organized by left-leaning political organizations, he explained.

What does Israel have to say about all this? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, when the three governments disclosed their plan to recognize a Palestinian state, criticized the maneuver. Roughly 80 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank supported the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that killed roughly 1,200 people, Netanyahu said. An independent state made up of those people would be a “terrorist state,” and attacks like the one on Oct. 7 would take place repeatedly, he said.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Sift about Ireland, Norway, and Spain announcing their intentions to recognize a Palestinian state last week.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...