Madrid, Dublin and Oslo to recognise Palestinian state

The governments of Spain, Ireland and Norway have announced that they intend to recognise the state of Palestine in the coming days. Israel has condemned the move as support for Hamas terrorism and recalled its ambassadors from Dublin and Oslo. A similar decision is expected regarding Madrid. A glance at Europe's commentary sections shows how divided opinions are on the subject.

Open/close all quotes
Irish Independent (IE) /

The basis for a two-state solution

The Irish Independent sees the move as an important step towards peace:

“Doing nothing when thousands of people are being killed is not sustainable. Thus, it is hoped that the recognition of Palestine as a state, by Ireland, Norway and Spain, can bring momentum to bestowing the rights and status its people have been deprived of for over 70 years. ... The intention of conferring statehood on Palestine is to give a concrete platform for the two-state solution - first mooted three decades ago – to be built upon.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Terrorism rewarded

The recognitions play into the hands of Hamas, criticises the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

“One of the aims of its attack on 7 October was precisely to put the Palestinian issue back on the agenda of regional and international diplomacy. ... It is likely to feel vindicated once again in its decision to use terrorist means against Israel, despite having inflicted great suffering on the civilian population under its rule. ... The only path to a Palestinian state is an agreement with Israel. After the traumatic experience of 7 October, this will be more difficult to achieve even than many in Washington suspect; it's not just up to Netanyahu. Nevertheless, working towards this is worth every effort. The premature recognition of 'Palestine', on the other hand, is just a gesture.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Differentiate between Fatah and Hamas

Der Standard criticises Israel's accusation that the three states are rewarding terrorism:

“It is not the goal of the terrorist militia Hamas, which doesn't even want a two-state solution, that is being recognised, but that of Fatah and the autonomous authority it leads. That Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu constantly equates Fatah with Hamas merely serves the purpose of delegitimising the Palestinians who are willing to make peace, thus cementing the occupation. Above all, recognising Palestine reinforces Israel's international isolation, which has been growing steadily since the start of the Gaza war. Whether this development will bring about a peace solution - and thus a Palestinian state - is uncertain. If it promotes the self-righteous bunker mentality that Netanyahu is so fond of cultivating, then it could also have the opposite effect.”

La Libre Belgique (BE) /

First guarantee democracy

Things are being done in the wrong order, La Libre Belgique criticises:

“How can we recognise the Palestinian state, which would be Israel's neighbour, if we don't even know who will govern it? ... The Jewish state cannot legitimately and reasonably accept that a recognised country can be led by a branch of Hamas or other terrorists, with the support of Iran, whose only goal is the extermination of Israel and the Jews. Working for peace means ensuring the conditions for genuine Palestinian democracy, a real agreement on the territories and, on both sides, the authentic recognition of a lasting peace.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Could this revive civil society?

Večernji list hopes the initiative will promote political change in the Palestinian territories:

“What would this recognition mean for the Palestinians in concrete terms? The administration under Mahmoud Abbas, which governs the occupied West Bank and hasn't held elections since 2006, might even fear it. Recognition alone will not improve the economic situation, which could increase the pressure on Abbas. Furthermore, it implies the right to Palestinian self-determination. That could help revitalise civil society, which has been stifled in Abbas' era, and which in turn would lead to political change.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Exacerbating tensions in Europe

Corriere della Sera fears further conflict within Europe:

“This move by Madrid and Dublin risks causing further tensions and polarisation within the EU, which is already divided over the arrest warrants requested from the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Netanyahu, his defence minister Gallant and key Hamas leaders for alleged 'war crimes and crimes against humanity' committed in Israel and Gaza since 7 October.”