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Israel vents anger at Palestinian recognition through diplomacy and online videos

Ireland, Spain and Norway to formalise decision on Tuesday

As Ireland, Spain and Norway prepare to formalise their recognition of a Palestinian state, Israel has been stepping up reprisals against all three countries through diplomatic measures and online videos.

Israel responded angrily to the preliminary announcement last week by the Irish, Spanish and Norwegian governments, with the country’s foreign minister, Yisrael Katz, describing it as “a parade of stupidity” and warning of “dire consequences”.

Dublin, Madrid and Oslo are scheduled to confirm their recognition of the state of Palestine on Tuesday.

All three governments have been facing a backlash from Israel in recent days.


Their ambassadors in the country were all invited to watch video of the October 7th attack on Israel that triggered the Gaza war and they received a reprimand from the country’s foreign ministry. Israeli media filmed the Irish ambassador Sonya McGuinness and her Spanish and Norwegian counterparts as they watched the footage.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin described the diplomats’ treatment as “inappropriate and very wrong”.

However, the Israeli government has suggested that the action against Ireland might not end there. The Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlich, told The Irish Times that there would be a review of bilateral relations, encompassing everything from intelligence and security to the economy.

The Israeli response has also taken the form of garish online videos aimed at Ireland, Spain and Norway, portraying the decision to declare support for a Palestinian state as being favourable to Hamas.

In one, published on the X platform and addressed to Taoiseach Simon Harris, apparent footage of Hamas fighters was interspersed with traditional Irish dancing as folk music played.

“Ireland, if your goal was to reward terrorism by declaring support for a Palestinian state, you’ve achieved it,” wrote Mr Katz above the video. Similar videos were aimed at Norway and Spain, with the latter showing flamenco dancing.

Spain’s foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, reacted by describing the video as “execrable” for using a symbol of Spanish identity such as flamenco.

Relations between Spain and Israel have been fragile for several months. Socialist prime minister Pedro Sánchez has been one of the EU’s most outspoken critics of the Israeli response to the October 7th attack. Also, senior figures in the far-left Podemos party, which until late last year governed in coalition with Mr Sánchez’s socialists, have repeatedly called for Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be tried for human rights violations.

Bilateral ties have deteriorated further in the hours leading up to the declaration of support for the Palestinian state, which Spain is due to make during a cabinet meeting.

In a video recording about her support for the decision, Spain’s deputy prime minister Yolanda Díaz, of the left-wing Sumar platform, said: “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea”. The Israeli government condemned her use of the phrase, which it deemed anti-Semitic.

Meanwhile, Spain’s defence minister, Margarita Robles, told an interviewer that “a veritable genocide” was taking place in Gaza, the first time a socialist member of Mr Sánchez’s government has used that term.

Israel has taken further diplomatic action, announcing that the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem will no longer be allowed to conduct consular activities with or provide consular services to Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank.

“The days of the Inquisition are over,” Mr Katz wrote on X. “Today, the Jewish people have a sovereign and independent state, and no one will force us to convert our religion or threaten our existence – those who harm us, we will harm in return.”

The foreign ministers of Ireland, Spain and Norway met in Brussels on Monday, agreeing to postpone any response to the Israeli actions until a later date.

Earlier this month, the Spanish government denied permission to dock to a vessel sailing under the Danish flag because it was carrying armament from India to Haifa in Israel. Mr Albares said the decision was the first time Spain has refused entry to a vessel for this reason.