Norway and Belgium Adds to the Political Deficit of Netanyahu

By advocating for political discussions, the De Croo signaled his commitment to promoting diplomatic negotiations as a means to bring about a sustainable and long-lasting resolution.

Photo by Guillaume Périgois / Unsplash

In a recent speech, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo highlighted the pressing issue of the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip and condemned the Israeli attacks on civilians. Prime Minister De Croo's remarks focused on several key points, shedding light on the need for a political solution, addressing the disproportionate actions taken by Israel, and urging an increase in humanitarian aid. Together with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, De Croo emphasized the importance of international response and engaged with Belgium's Jewish community to address concerns.

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Concerned about the escalating violence, De Croo stressed the significance of proportionality in Israel's actions. He referred to the attack on the Al Maghazi camp, stating that it resulted in the death of multiple individuals and the injury of many others. The Prime Minister affirmed that the current actions undertaken by Israel can no longer be seen as proportionate.

While recognizing the urgency of finding a solution to the conflict, De Croo emphasized the need to contemplate how that solution should be achieved. He emphasized that political dialogue is the path towards resolving the situation in Gaza. By advocating for political discussions, De Croo signalled his commitment to promoting diplomatic negotiations as a means to bring about a sustainable and long-lasting resolution.

Aid delivery against Netanyahu's policy

De Croo drew attention to the pressing need for increased humanitarian aid to Gaza. He expressed concerns that the current level of aid is insufficient and highlighted challenges in its delivery due to issues on the Israeli side. The Prime Minister called for the facilitation of aid to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza.

The joint press conference held by De Croo and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez further reinforced the international response to the conflict. Both leaders criticized the actions taken by Israel and emphasized the vital necessity of a political solution. Their unified stance highlighted the importance of international engagement and cooperation in mitigating the crisis.

In response to the renewed violence, Prime Minister De Croo met with members of Belgium's Jewish community to discuss the situation and address their concerns. This meeting served as a platform for open dialogue, fostering understanding and solidarity in the face of the escalating conflict.

As part of his efforts to intervene and alleviate the humanitarian crisis, De Croo visited the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. His aim was to urge an end to the violence and facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid. De Croo's visit carried weight, as his statements criticizing Israel's actions and advocating for an end to the violence triggered a response from the Israeli government. In reaction to De Croo and Sánchez's remarks during the visit, Israel announced that it would summon the Belgian and Spanish ambassadors, undeniably indicating the impact De Croo's visit had on the situation.

End of violence

During his visit to the border crossing, De Croo stressed the urgency of ending the violence, freeing hostages, and providing aid to those affected. He reiterated that a permanent ceasefire should be the ultimate goal and emphasized that the resolution to the conflict should be sought through dialogue and negotiation, as violence only exacerbates the situation.

While it is challenging to gauge the full extent of De Croo's visit on the actual outcome of the conflict, it has certainly garnered attention and generated both support and criticism. The response of the Israeli government to summon the Belgian and Spanish ambassadors reflects the significant response that De Croo's visit has evoked. The impact of this visit will unfold over time, awaiting the reception and actions of the Israeli government.

Norway and Palestine

Recently, Norway's parliament adopted a resolution urging the government to be prepared to recognize Palestine as an independent state, emphasizing the potential positive impact it could have on the peace process. This move underscores growing international concerns over the Israel-Hamas conflict and highlights the multilayered nature of recognizing Palestine as an independent state. While immediate recognition is unlikely due to both the wording of the resolution and Israel's reservations regarding the Hamas militia, the global recognition of Palestine has become a complex and evolving matter.

As of November 2023, 139 out of 193 United Nations member states have recognized the State of Palestine, reflecting the growing global consensus on its statehood. In the Americas, countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela have been among the early supporters of Palestine's independent statehood. In Asia, China, India, and Indonesia have also extended their recognition. However, Japan and South Korea still refrain from officially recognizing Palestine. In Africa, the majority of countries recognize Palestine, with only Eritrea and Cameroon as exceptions. Notably, in Europe, nations like Sweden, Iceland, Romania, and Poland have acknowledged Palestine's statehood.

The EU and Palestine

Within the European Union (EU), the recognition of Palestine as an independent state is an ongoing process. Currently, nine out of the twenty-seven member states officially recognize the State of Palestine. Sweden set a significant precedent by becoming the first EU member state to acknowledge Palestine in 2014. Malta and Cyprus had recognized Palestine prior to joining the EU. However, achieving unanimity within the EU as a whole remains a challenge. Some Central European member states, such as the Czech Republic and Hungary, have emerged as close allies of Israel in recent times.

In December 2014, the European Parliament voted in favor of a non-binding resolution supporting the recognition of Palestinian statehood as part of a two-state solution. While this resolution does not establish unanimous recognition, it signifies the increasing advocacy for a separate Palestinian state within the EU. As the recognition of Palestine remains a complex and evolving matter, ongoing regional and global dynamics influence the stances of different countries.

Several major nations, including the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan, continue to refrain from officially recognizing Palestine. Their positions reflect a variety of factors, including historical relationships, geopolitical considerations, and concerns over the Palestinian Authority's governance. These nations often emphasize the need for a negotiated peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians as a prerequisite for recognition.

The Norwegian Rebuff

The recent parliamentary resolution in Norway signifies the growing concerns in Europe over the Israel-Hamas conflict. While immediate recognition is not expected, this development highlights the evolving dynamics surrounding the recognition of Palestine. Achieving a consensus within the EU regarding the recognition of the State of Palestine remains a challenge, as individual member states maintain their own policies. However, the increasing number of countries recognizing Palestine's statehood in regions such as Africa, Asia, and Europe reflects a growing international consensus for a two-state solution.

The recognition of Palestine as an independent state is a complex and multidimensional issue, with varying degrees of support from different regions. While a significant number of countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, acknowledge Palestine as a state, several nations in the Western world still do not officially endorse it. The recent resolution in Norway demonstrates the mounting concerns in Europe over the Israel-Hamas conflict, illustrating the changing dynamics. The recognition of Palestine as an independent state remains an ongoing process influenced by regional and global dynamics, emphasizing the importance of continued dialogue and diplomacy towards a peaceful resolution.