The leader of VOX Santiago Abascal said he would reverse Spain's recognition of Palestine statehood 'when prime minister'. (EPA-EFE/ZIPI)


Abascal vows to pull Spain’s recognition of Palestine ‘when’ he becomes PM


Santiago Abascal, the President of Spain’s Conservative VOX party, vowed to withdraw his country’s recent recognition of Palestinian statehood “when” he “becomes prime minister”.

The populist politician made the comments during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

During the May 28 meeting, Abascal insisted that the decision of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to recognise Palestine did not represent the views of the Spanish population.

“Pedro Sánchez is not Spain,” Abascal told the Israeli PM.

He added that Sánchez was “covering [up] his cases of political and economic corruption with the recognition of the Palestinian State”, before praising the “firmness” of Israel in its self-defence efforts against “the aggression of Hamas”.

In a statement, VOX insisted that “when Abascal is president of the government”, Spain will reverse its recognition of the State of Palestine.

Netanyahu responded to Abascal’s claims by reaffirming his recognition of Spanish sovereignty, dismissing the isolated calls of opposition parties in Israel to support separatist movements in the country.

The Israeli Prime Minister told Abascal that his country would also continue supporting Europe in its anti-terrorism efforts, before lamenting the way Western media outlets covered the conflict in Gaza.

Netanyahu currently faces an arrest warrant issued in May by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The VOX President was joined by MEP Hermann Tertsch, the Vice-Chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR), and Jorge Martín Frías, the director of VOX’s think-tank Fundación Disenso – which Abascal chairs.

Both Tertsch and Martín Frías are part of VOX’s list for June’s European Parliament elections.

As of writing, the Spanish foreign ministry had not yet issued an official reaction to Abascal’s meeting with Netanyahu.

It is not the first time the VOX leader has visited Israel.

Abascal had earlier visited the Middle Eastern state at the start of December amid a tense diplomatic spat between it and Spain, meeting various members of the Israeli war cabinet and visiting one of the kibbutzes attacked on October 7.

The feud centred around Sánchez’s decision to meet with members of the Palestinian Authority, labelling Israel’s retaliatory measures in the region as having caused a “humanitarian catastrophe”, a move that earned the praise of Hamas.

This prompted the then-Israeli foreign minister, Eli Cohen, to recall Israel’s Ambassador in Madrid, Rodica Radian-Gordon, on November 30, with the representative being recalled once again a few days ago after Sánchez announced Spain would recognise Palestine.

One of the Israeli ministers met by Abascal, diaspora tsar Amichai Chikli, returned the favour by attending VOX’s controversial political convention in Madrid earlier this month.