Spanish PM Says Madrid Will Only Recognize Palestine in Joint Move; Protest at the Embassy in Israel

Cooling expectations, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says Friday, May 17, Madrid would only recognize a Palestinian state in a joint action with other countries. In an interview with TV channel La Sexta, Sanchez also denied reports that the recognition would occur on May 21.

On May 9, Ireland said is moving closer to formally recognizing the state of Palestine but the Taoiseach (Irish PM) has refused to confirm the date this will take place. Simon Harris said he has spoken to his Spanish counterpart Sanchez and they have formed a “clear plan” to recognize Palestinian statehood. The two leaders have been in regular contact about appealing to other European states to sign up to their plan for a joint declaration recognizing Palestine.

A protest against the war in Gaza in Euskadi, May 17, 2024 (Photo: Mundo Obrero)

“There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The right thing to do right now is to recognize the state of Palestine,” Harris told Irish press. “Why do we do that? We do that because we must keep the hope and the destination of a two-state solution firmly to the fore. That is how you resolve this conflict in the Middle East and that is how you bring stability to the region. Ireland recognizes the state of Israel, its right to security, peace and Ireland wishes to recognize the state of Palestine and wishes to see those two states live side by side.”

According Zo Haderech, Spain has refused permission for an Israel-bound ship carrying arms to call at the southeastern port of Cartagena, Transport Minister Oscar Puente said on Thursday. The ship was carrying a cargo of arms to Israel and had requested permission to call at Cartagena on May 21, Puente said on X. It was carrying nearly 27 tons in explosive material from India’s Madras, El Pais reported. The Foreign Ministry, which Puente said denied the authorization, did not immediately reply to repeated requests for comment.

A protest in front of the Spanish embassy in Israel will be held next Friday (May 24) by the activists of Peace Partnership a broad coalition of dozens of organizations, movements, groups and parties against the war in Gaza and established on January 20 with the first demonstration against the war in Haifa.  Under the title “Spain, recognize Palestine – for the good of both peoples!”, the demonstration will be held at 10:30 at Daniel Frisch 3, Tel-Aviv.

According organizers, “On October 7 last year, Israel experienced a massacre of a kind completely unprecedented in all of its previous history. This massacre constitutes a conclusive proof that occupation does not give security. Nor can security be achieved by any military act. A political solution is the only way to achieve security, to end the suffering and bereavement of both peoples.”

“The achievement of a political solution is nowadays dependent upon more countries joining the 143 which already declared their recognition of the State of Palestine. Especially, that this step be taken by states which maintain friendly relations with Israel. A widespread recognition of Palestine will create an irreversible fait accompli. No Israeli government would be able ignores. This is the most important precondition for the security of both peoples, of everybody in the whole region.”

“Spain is one of West European countries which declared its intention to recognize Palestine, and we believe our vigil might encourage its government to actually take this step – Estado palestino independiente – Ya!” 

On March 15 the Peace Partnership held a demonstration in front of the US and French embassies in Tel Aviv, “demanding the recognition of the State of Palestine state now!” According the coalition, “No people can be free and safe as long as they occupy another people. The denial of the Palestinians’ national rights has been the policy of Israeli governments over many years. The horrible results blew up in all of our faces on October 7th. The Palestinian issue, which the government tried to bury inconspicuously behind ‘separation fences’, has now returned to center stage.” “The International Community must state a straight forward position – a Palestinian state is a vital and immediate necessity. Its sovereignty must be recognized within the internationally recognized borders – those of June 5, 1967. Recognition of the State of Palestine by the International Community, and especially by the powers that support Israel, can be a decisive step. It might bring to a successful conclusion an inclusive and calculated international struggle against the occupation and for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel,” added.

The Peace Partnership,  is built on the basis of agreement between its partners on the need to call for the implementation of 5 principles: An immediate agreement to end the war, prisoners deal now – all for all, promoting a political solution that will lead to an inclusive and stable peace, stopping racist and political persecution and promotion of national and civil equality and an end to the neglect of weakened and marginalized populations – who are the first to pay the price of the war.

Among the civil society and human rights organizations who are members of the coalition: Hadash, Young Communist League, Academia for Equality, All That’s Left, Itach-Ma’aki- Women Lawyers for Social Justice,  Mothers Against Violence, Isha L’Isha Feminist Center in Haifa, The School for Peace at Neve Shalom,  Gush Shalom, Democracy for All, The Bloc Against Occupation in New, Parents Against Child Detention, Zochrot, Mother’s Cry , Yesh Gvul,  This is Not an Ulpan, Combatants for Peace, Mahsom Watch, Mesarvot,  Women in Black, Women Against Violence, Osim Shalom -Social Workers for Peace, Oz VeShalom, Standing Together, Ir Amim, Coexistence Forum in the Negev, Parents Circle Families Forum, Psychoactive, Jordan Valley Activists, New Profile, Free Jerusalem, Rabbis for Human Rights,  Mizrachi Civil Collective, Breaking Walls , Breaking Silence, Torat Tzedek, Tandi – Democratic Women Movement in Israel, Ta’al – Arab Movement for Change,  Israelis for peace – Germany, Haqel – Alliance for the Protection of Human Rights, Mothers for Life and Women Wage Peace.