Leftists in Spain have demanded that the country's next government officially recognise the state of Palestine in return for them joining a planned rainbow coalition. (Photo by Aldara Zarraoa/Getty Images)


Spanish Leftists demand recognition of Palestine in return for coalition participation


Leftists in Spain have demanded that the country’s next government officially recognise the state of Palestine in return for them joining a planned rainbow coalition.

Having lost the country’s latest general election to his Right-wing rivals earlier this year, incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez now requires unanimous support from Spain’s various Left-wing groups if he wishes to hold on to power.

Such support will likely not come cheap, with the Sumar party saying that it will only join up with Sánchez if he recognises Palestine as a sovereign country.

“We believe that the time has come for Spain to recognise the Palestinian state unilaterally, unconditionally and urgently as an essential contribution to the resolution of the conflict and to peace,” party spokesman Ernest Urtasun MEP said.

“We want this to be one of the first measures to be taken by the next coalition government,” the MEP added.

“The best way to guarantee the aspirations of both sides is the solution of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The final status of Jerusalem should be the outcome of these negotiations.”

If Sánchez accepts the demand, he would be putting Spain at odds with much of the Western world. The US, France and Germany among others all take firmly pro-Israel stances concerning the ongoing conflict in the region.

Such support has not stopped the Spanish Government from rallying behind Palestine previously. Spain acted alongside Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg to torpedo European Commission plans to completely axe European Union aid to the region.

Elements of the incumbent coalition have taken matters a step further. Social rights minister Ione Belarra has demanded Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be brought before the International Criminal Court over alleged “war crimes”.

She also encouraged people across Europe to hold protests in favour of Palestine, an action that has been banned in some parts of the EU, such as France.

Israel has reacted badly to Belerra’s declaration, accusing the Spanish Government of choosing to align itself with “ISIS-type terrorism”.

“These statements are not only absolutely immoral, but they also endanger the security of Spain’s Jewish communities, exposing them to the risk of a greater number of anti-Semetic incidents and attacks,” the Israeli Embassy to Spain posted online.

It went on to call for Spain’s Prime Minister to “unequivocally denounce and condemn these shameful statements”.