Israel a little more isolated – Libération

Israel a little more isolated – Libération
Israel a little more isolated – Libération

The announcement by Norway, Ireland and Spain of the official recognition of the State of Palestine, this Wednesday, May 22, further weakens Benjamin Netanyahu, targeted since Monday by a request for an arrest warrant from the International Penal Court.

Almost every day has a setback for the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Targeted since Monday by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who requested the issuance of an arrest warrant against him, he must face a new diplomatic rebellion initiated by Spain, Ireland and Norway, which announced this Wednesday, May 22, their official recognition of the State of Palestine. “It took many months to bring the 27 member states [de l’UE à exiger] a ceasefire in Gaza and to reiterate their support for a two-state solution, but we must be sincere and recognize that this is not enough, declared the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in front of the Chamber of Deputies. This is the time to put words into action, to tell millions of innocent Palestinians who are suffering that we are with them and that there is hope.” Pedro Sánchez will not need to go through a vote, he will just need to base himself on a resolution adopted in 2014 by all the political parties. The official date for recognition of a Palestinian state has been set for May 28.

Norway chose the same date. She hosted the secret talks that resulted in the 1993 Oslo Accords, ratified by the handshake between Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin before the president. American Bill Clinton at the White House. The agreements, which aimed for peaceful coexistence of the two peoples, failed to materialize after Rabin’s assassination by a Jewish extremist in 1995. “We must bring to life the only alternative offering a political solution to both Israelis and Palestinians: two states, living side by side, in peace and security,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said on Wednesday. “[La solution à deux Etats est] the only credible path to peace and security for Israel and Palestine,” added his Irish counterpart, Simon Harris, almost simultaneously from Dublin.

“Diplomatic tool”

Spain would have hoped to convince other European countries, including France, to join it. Paris is not opposed to the recognition of a Palestinian state, but believes that the time is not the right one. “France considers that the conditions are not yet met for this decision to have an impact, declared the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Séjourné, after receiving his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz. It is not just a symbolic question or a political positioning issue, but a diplomatic tool serving the solution of two states living side by side, in peace and security.”

There are now 142 countries out of the 193 UN member states that support a two-state solution, according to the Palestinian Authority. Slovenia and Malta should join them soon.

The announcement from Ireland, Norway and Spain was hailed as “an important step” by Hamas and like a moment “historical” by the PLO. It was also, unsurprisingly, castigated by the Israeli government, whose Prime Minister never wanted this solution. “[Ces trois pays veulent envoyer] a message to the Palestinians and the whole world: terrorism pays, responded Israel Katz. After the terrorist organization Hamas carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing the most horrific sexual crimes the world has known, these countries chose to reward Hamas […] and to recognize a Palestinian state.” The three European ambassadors were summoned. Israel also recalled its ambassadors to Norway and Ireland.

Pressure on the ICC

Benjamin Netanyahu must also face the crisis caused by the request for an arrest warrant issued Monday against him and his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, for the way in which the war in Gaza was conducted, as well as against three leaders of the Hamas, by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan. On Tuesday, during an interview on NBC, he called it “rogue prosecutor who seeks to demonize the one and only State of Israel.”

In his announced war against the ICC, he received the support of the United States. Tuesday, during a session in Congress, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham challenged the head of diplomacy Antony Blinken: “We need actions, not just words. Will you support bipartisan action to sanction the ICC, not only for its offense against Israel but also to protect our interests in the future? “I’ll be happy to do it,” Blinken replied. A little earlier, he had considered that the ICC procedure was “extremely misguided” And “complicated” the possibility of a ceasefire.

This is not the first time that the United States has threatened the ICC. In 2020, Donald Trump, then president, had prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and another court official, Phakiso Mochochoko, included on the US Treasury’s blacklist, usually reserved for terrorists and dignitaries of dictatorships, after the announcement of the opening of an investigation into the abuses of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Once elected, Joe Biden lifted these sanctions. “The ICC magistrates are used to pressure, explains a lawyer specializing in international law. That won’t stop them, on the contrary.”

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