Israel slams Dublin’s backing for Palestinian state

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Israel has slammed the decision of the Irish parliament to adopt a non-binding resolution supporting an independent Palestinian state.

Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon accused the Irish parliament of giving voice to “statements of hatred and anti-Semitism directed at Israel in a way which we have not heard before”.

Some Irish deputies accused Israel of genocide during the parliamentary debate on Palestinian recognition.

Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said Ireland is considering early recognition of Palestinian statehood as a possible tactic for kick-starting Middle East peace talks.

Politicians in Britain, France and Spain have already passed similar motions calling on their governments to follow Sweden, which on October 30 became the first western European Union member to recognise Palestinian statehood.

In France, the Senate on Thursday narrowly approved a resolution asking the government to recognise a Palestinian state.

French senators voted 153-146 in favour of a non-binding resolution “inviting” the French government to recognise Palestine.

The lower house of France’s Parliament adopted a similar measure last week by a much larger margin.

The French government supports a two-state solution but says it is too early for outright recognition, as some senators argued.

France, a veto-holding member of the UN Security Council, is trying to stamp out rising anti-Semitism at home and to maintain good relations with Israel and Arab governments.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson welcomed the Irish government’s decision to recognise the state of Palestine.

Ms Anderson said: “I welcome the fact that both the Dáil and the Seanad have agreed to back Sinn Féin’s call to recognise the state of Palestine.

“Both houses have now agreed to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to recognise the Palestinian state, and to endorse the right of the people of Palestine to independence and sovereignty.

“Ireland has now joined a growing number of countries both in Europe and across the world who support the Palestinian people and recognise their statehood.

“While this is welcome, it has to be followed with meaningful action to demonstrate that support.”