Monday, June 17, 2024

US says concerned by Israel’s growing diplomatic isolation

A top White House aide has acknowledged concern about Israel’s potentially growing diplomatic isolation amid its latest spat with several European countries after they moved to recognize a Palestinian state.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the situation raises concern for Israel’s security.

“I think it’s a fair question. As a country that stands strong in defense of Israel in international forums like the United Nations, we certainly have seen a growing chorus of voices, including voices that had previously been in support of Israel drift in another direction,” Sullivan stated.

“That is of concern to us because we do not believe that that contributes to Israel’s long term security or vitality.”

Sullivan, who travelled to Israel and other countries in the Middle East this past weekend, added that it was an issue that he discussed with the Israeli government.

“That’s something that we discussed with the Israeli government and something that we believe that a strategic approach to defeating Hamas, protecting civilians surging humanitarian assistance, and then pursuing that vision of regional integration I just talked about, will put Israel in the best stead to engage countries around the world and revitalize a lot of the partnerships and friendships that have been a source of great strength for Israel overtime and can be again.”

Spain, Norway and Ireland have announced plans to formally recognize a Palestinian state, a decision that has angered Israel, prompting Tel Aviv to immediately recall their ambassadors from each country.

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority welcomed the decision, urging other countries to follow suit.

The Joe Biden administration pushed back against the move, reiterating that while the US president backs a path to a two-state solution, it would continue to pursue one through diplomatic negotiations between the two parties.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering further diplomatic steps against Norway, Ireland and Spain after they declared their intention to recognize a Palestinian state, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Steps under consideration include canceling visits by officials from these countries to Israel and revoking visas from the countries’ diplomats, which would limit their ability to visit areas in the West Bank under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

Israel is also considering reaching out to the United States to seek diplomatic support in providing clarification from Norway, Ireland and Spain on their intended decision, and to ask the US to try and convince other countries not to follow suit.

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