Lula highlights 'historic decision' by Spain, the Republic of Ireland and Norway in recognizing the Palestinian statehood

European countries announced the recognition will be made official on Tuesday (28)

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo |
Brazil recognized the Palestinian statehood in 2010, during Lula's second presidential term - Joédson Alves/Agência Brasil

On Thursday (23), President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva highlighted the “historic decision” by Spain, the Republic of Ireland and Norway in recognizing the Palestinian statehood, a decision he considered positive for boosting peace “efforts” in the Middle East.

“The joint decision by Spain, Norway and Ireland to recognize Palestine as a state is historic for two reasons. It does justice to the claim of an entire people, recognized by more than 140 countries, for their right to self-determination,” Lula posted on X (formerly Twitter).

A decisão conjunta de Espanha, Noruega e Irlanda de reconhecer a Palestina como um Estado é histórica por duas razões. Faz justiça em relação ao pleito de um todo um povo, reconhecido por mais de 140 países, por seu direito à autodeterminação. Além disso, essa decisão terá efeito…

— Lula (@LulaOficial) May 23, 2024

“Furthermore, this decision will have a positive effect on supporting efforts for peace and stability in the region. This will only happen when the existence of an independent Palestinian state is guaranteed,” he added.

The president also recalled that Brazil was “one of the first countries in Latin America” to recognize the Palestinian statehood, a decision that was soon followed by other countries in the region. Recognition took place in 2010, during Lula's second presidential term. 

On a visit to Brazil at the beginning of March, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, defended, alongside Lula, the creation of a Palestinian state as necessary for a peace agreement in the region.

Israeli threats

Spain, the Republic of Ireland and Norway announced on Wednesday (22) their decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state as of May 28. The European nations signaled that they expect other countries to follow suit, given the “danger” the two-state solution faces due to Israel's massacre of the Palestinian population in Gaza. At least 142 of the UN's 193 member states have expressed support for recognition. 

But also on Thursday, Israel said that the decision by the three European countries will have “serious consequences” for its relations with them.

“There will be serious additional consequences for [Israel's] relations with these countries following the decision they took” said on Wednesday (23) in a statement the director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, Jacob Blitstein, when the three countries announced they will recognize a Palestinian state as of May 28.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry met with the Spanish, Irish and Norwegian ambassadors, whom it “reprimanded (...) due to the perverse decision of their governments to recognize a Palestinian state.”

A fish on a bike

In an article published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, columnist Alon Pinkas says that “Legally, the decision by Spain, Norway and Ireland to recognize a Palestinian state is therefore not dramatic at all. In fact, if the United States were to do so tomorrow, legally it would mean very little. Politically, of course, it would be a game-changer with significant implications.

“Worldwide recognition of a Palestinian state can be dismissed as symbolic, but it sets a discourse and defines a preference that no one can ignore. It forces Israel to deal with the immediate feasibility of such a state, and the modalities and contours of such an entity rather than the validity of the idea itself.”

“Even if a Palestinian state is a ‘failed state’ in the making and from the outset, it is still something Israel will have to consider. You cannot shape and influence the debate and process by negating it altogether.”

“Conversely, opposing it at this point requires coming up with an alternative – which is why Israel could and should have preempted the move with its own recognition. But asking Netanyahu and his messianic, detached-from-reality government of extremists to do that is like asking a fish to ride a bicycle.”

Edited by: Leandro Melito