Written by 16:55 World

Ireland’s Palestinian State Recognition Nods to Its Own History

When the Irish government on Wednesday announced formal recognition of an independent Palestinian state, it drew on its own struggle for statehood and the violence that surrounded it.

“From our own history we know what it means: recognition is an act of powerful political and symbolic value,” Simon Harris, the taoiseach, or prime minister of Ireland, said at a news briefing.

Mr. Harris was nodding to the Republic of Ireland’s quest for self-rule in the early part of the 20th century after hundreds of years of British rule. He detailed how, on Jan. 21, 1919, Ireland asked the world to recognize its right to independence.

“Our message to the free nations of the world was a plea for international recognition of our independence, emphasizing our distinct national identity, our historical struggle and our right to self-determination and justice,” he said. “Today we use the same language to support the recognition of Palestine as a state.”

Ireland condemned Hamas after the group led the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that officials there say killed some 1,200 people. And since the start of the conflict in Gaza, it has sharply rebuked Israel for its assault that Gazan authorities say has left more than 35,000 people dead.

Mr. Harris emphasized that Ireland’s announcement, which came on the same day as similar moves by Spain and Norway, did not diminish his country’s relationship with Israel. Instead, he said, it was an acknowledgment that Israel and a state of Palestine had an equal right to exist.

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Last modified: 24 May 2024
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