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Misleading Allegations Regarding the Recognition of the Palestinian Statehood

Enas Mzaini Enas Mzaini
6th June 2024
Misleading Allegations Regarding the Recognition of the Palestinian Statehood
The recognition enhances the international standing of Palestinians (X)

On May 28, Ireland, Spain, and Norway officially announced the recognition of a Palestinian state. Madrid, Duplin, and Oslo said they sought to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza as a solution to achieve a peaceful future for Palestine and Israel. The Palestinian authority has welcomed the decision, and urged countries around the world to follow the footsteps to recognize the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people. 

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said it would upgrade its representative office in Ramallah in the West Bank to an embassy, appoint an ambassador there and upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission in Ireland to an embassy.

Their recognition, which has infuriated Israel, brings the total to 145 out of 193 U.N. member states that have recognized a Palestinian state.

Official Israeli accounts and outlets claimed that such recognition undermines the struggle for genuine human rights and peace, describing it as a reward for terrorism and further instability. Here, we highlight some of the most prominent examples of these narratives.

Vicious Misleading Claims Regarding the Recognition of the Palestinian Statehood

Israel Katz, Minster of Foreign Affairs, described the Spanish government on X as being complicit in inciting genocide against Jews. 

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In another X post, Israel Katz described the Spanish government decision as an incitement towards destroying Israel and replacing it with a Hamas-led Palestinian state

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Moreover, the Minister of Foreign Affairs posted pictures and videos of the Israeli hostages on X with exaggeration and manipulative claims, many of which have been debunked by Misbar, to garner sympathy and to sway public opinion. He announced that the three countries' ambassadors of Spain, Ireland, and Norway, will be shown footage of October 7.

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Additionally, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister has strongly criticized Ireland, Spain, and Norway for their decision to recognize Palestinian statehood, and labeled the move as a reward for terrorism.

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In a statement, the Embassy of Israel in Ireland, said it was disappointed by Ireland's recognition of a Palestinian state: “Recognition raises many questions, such as what is meant by ‘Palestine,’” the statement asked.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan told the General Assembly on Wednesday that “by advancing a Palestinian state, you are telling the Hamas murderers and rapists that terror pays off.”

In response, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Oren Marmorstein, warned: “every statement about the possibility that European countries will recognize a Palestinian state is a prize for Hamas terrorists, who carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Only direct negotiations between the parties will lead to peace.”

In a televised address on January 18, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “In any future arrangement, Israel needs security control over all territory west of the Jordan River and this is contrary to a Palestinian state.” Before now, the Israeli Prime Minister has been quoted by Israel's national broadcaster, saying Palestinian hopes of a sovereign state “must be eliminated.” 

Previously, the Israeli Communication Minister Shlomo Karhi, wrote on X, that there will be no Palestinian state, and that they will never allow the establishment of another state between the Jordan river and the sea. He added that “they will never return to Oslo.”

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Israeli Propaganda Vs. Facts

The Israeli government is viciously trying to label Spain, Ireland and Norway’s recognition of Palestine as a reward for terror. Nevertheless, these countries have clarified that it is an attempt to refocus attention on efforts to find a political solution to the war in the Middle East.

They hope that, by acting together, they will encourage other European countries to follow suit, in a diplomatic push that could help secure a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of hostages.

All three countries said they recognised a Palestinian state based on borders established before the war in 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

In 2014, Sweden became the first major Western European nation to recognize Palestinian statehood.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said the decision was made because it “met the criteria of international law.” Wallstrom added: “There is a territory of people and a government. Not to recognize Palestine because of the occupation would be against the principle of international law about no fruits of aggression.”

For a state, recognition is an act by which it unilaterally, freely, and discretionarily expresses its will through one of its authorized bodies: the head of state, the head of government, or the foreign affairs minister.

The Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said his country made the decision, which was strongly condemned by Israel, “to keep the miracle of peace alive.”

The Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide added as his country formalized the move on Tuesday saying: “The international community must increase its political and economic support for Palestine and continue the work for a two-state solution.”

Speaking to parliament as the measure was approved, the Irish Prime Minister explained: "I hope it sends the Palestinian people a message of hope that in this, their darkest hour, Ireland stands with them. It is an expression of our view that Palestine holds and should be able to vindicate the full rights of the state, including self-determination, self-governance, territorial integrity and security, as well as recognising Palestine's own obligations under international law."

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Palestinian flag raised at Leinster House, Dublin. (X)

Ahead of Spain’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said recognising Palestine was “not only a matter of historic justice”, it was also “an essential requirement if we are all to achieve peace.”

He insisted that Spain was not acting against Israel and was standing against Hamas which opposed a two-state solution.

Most countries – about 145 in all – formally recognise a Palestinian state. The more states recognize Palestine, the harder it becomes for other countries, such as Israel, the Netherlands, and the United States, to deny that Palestine is a state. 

As international recognition initially has consequences only between the recognizing states, legal arguments against Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory can be made by the countries that recognized Palestine, which explains Israel's vicious attack towards the three European countries that recognized Palestine’s Statehood. 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict dates back to the end of the nineteenth century. In 1947, the United Nations adopted Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan, which sought to divide the British Mandate of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. 

On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was created, sparking the first Arab-Israeli War. The war ended in 1949 with Israel’s victory, but 750,000 Palestinians were displaced, and the territory was divided into 3 parts: the State of Israel, the West Bank (of the Jordan River), and the Gaza Strip. 

Over the following years, tensions rose in the region, and the conflicts continued. Palestine launched several intifadas contesting Israel’s control over the west bank. One of which, resulted in the construction of a barrier wall around the West Bank in 2002, despite opposition from the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

The goal of Israeli propaganda is to mislead and sway public opinion to discourage other countries from following the steps of Norway, Ireland, and Spain. Israel is using the terror narrative and linking it directly to the Palestinian statehood, not to mention the digital attack on social media using victimhood narrative and depicting the Palestinian statehood as a threat to Israel and the world. 

The recognition of a Palestinian state by other countries is rejected not only by the current government, but also by past Israeli governments across the political spectrum, who believe that a Palestinian state should only come about through direct negotiations between the two sides. 

Meanwhile, Israel's national security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, visited Al Aqsa Mosque (the third holiest site in Islam) compound, mentioning that the contested holy site belongs "only to the state of Israel." Ben-Gvir said the visit was a response to the move by Norway, Ireland, and Spain. "We will not even allow a statement about a Palestinian state," he said. One of the reasons that may pose a threat of establishing a Palestinian state to Israelis, is the geographical fragmentation of the Palestinian territories, as Gaza and the West Bank are separated by Israeli territory. Another main reason is that Israel has been building illegal Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories 

An International Calls for Two-State Solution 

The two-state solution refers to a plan that guarantees the creation of a separate Palestinian state, from the state of Israel. The first attempt at creating side by side states occurred before the independence of Israel in 1948. 

The solution has had significant support from governments around the world for decades including the U.N. The Biden administration says that the only path to peace is an old idea that was never realized - a two-state solution.

A two-state solution is the universal consensus of the international community to settle the Palestinian question, said China on Monday, dismissing Israel’s “declaratory decision” to reject any recognition of Palestinian statehood by any country.

Similarly, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, says that the U.K. wants a two-state model that can provide lasting peace. Likewise, the European Foreign Ministers pressed Israel on an eventual two-state solution with the Palestinians. Egypt also calls for the two-state solution and the principle of land in return for peace as the only viable strategy to achieve peace in the Middle East. 

The Palestinian death toll from Israel's strikes in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7 has risen to 29,092, the Health Ministry in the besieged Palestinian enclave said on Monday. 69,028 others were also injured in the ongoing onslaught.

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