Palestinian Embassy in Madrid.
Eduardo González. Madrid
The recent meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, and the Arab ambassadors posted in Madrid has served to highlight the role that Spain can play in the Middle East peace process as a member of the UN’s Security Council, a challenge that, curiously, had generated great hopes among Israelis and Palestinians alike.
“We supported Spain for the Security Council because we are convinced that it will be beneficial to all” declared the spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in Madrid, Hamutal Rogel-Fuchs, to The Diplomat in Spain. “Spain is a great friend of the Arabs and the Palestinians and all the Spanish Governments have supported, always, both the left and right wing ones” stated to The Diplomat the Palestinian delegate in Madrid, Musa Amer Odeh.
According to the Israeli spokesperson the pressure to which the Spanish Government is being subjected for them to recognise Palestine as a full member state are insignificant because “Margallo’s position has been very clear; the Palestinian State can only come from an agreement with Israel”.
I contrast, Amer Odeh seemed hopeful that Spain will recognise Palestine “very soon”, and warned that the creation of a State must not come from a negotiation with Israel. “There have already been negotiations, they took place in Madrid”, he declared, referencing the 1991 Peace Conference. “We are willing to negotiate relations with Israel in order to live in peace like good neighbours, but the recognition of Palestine is not a decision that belongs to Israel”, he manifested.
The Palestinian delegate in Spain considers the recognition as a State “is not for Israel to decide”
During his meeting with the Arab ambassadors, Margallo reiterated Spain’s desire to “move towards the mutual and reciprocal recognition of two States, Israel and Palestine, as the outcome of a complete and negotiated solution to the conflict”.
For her part, Hamutal Rogel-Fuchs played down Spain’s criticism of the construction of 500 new homes in Jerusalem, considering that “Spain has a right to complain and Israel has a right to build”. In addition, she valued positively that the Government has condemned Thursday’s attack in Jerusalem, and criticised Hamas for “praising” those that carried it out.
With regards to this issue, the Palestinian delegate was in no doubt that “The root of the violence lies in Israel’s policies” and, because of this, the Palestinian Authority coincides with Hamas in their support for “popular resistance” to those policies that “violate International Law, human rights and the sacred right to self-determination”.