Israel Political Brief March 14, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu cancels European trip to France & Spain, citing volatile situation in Israel’s south



Netanyahu cancels European trip, citing volatile situation in Israel’s south

The explanation given by Prime Minister’s office is a bit strange, especially in light of the fact that it was released after a renewed ceasefire was announced in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Haaretz, 3-14-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled his planned visit to Paris and Madrid, which was on Wednesday, due to the “security situation in southern Israel,” despite the renewed calm in the Gaza Strip.

Attempts at coordinating the visits to France and Spain began after Netanyahu’s return to Israel from the AIPAC conference in Washington. Israeli embassies in Paris and Madrid were asked to inquire whether the Élysée Palace and Spain’s prime minister’s office would allow Netanyahu to visit on March 21 and 22.

Netanyahu and Sarkozy - AP Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Photo by: AP

According to an Israeli official, the Prime Minister’s Office clarified that Netanyahu was interested to discuss the Iran issue with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and newly-elected Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Netanyahu sought to update the two European leaders regarding Israel’s stance, as he did during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during his Washington trip.

Israeli embassies began making initial contact and received positive responses. Both the French and the Spanish stated that Sarkozy and Rajoy were very interested in meeting Netanyahu….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 26, 2011: Spain Recognizes Israel as Jewish Homeland



Spain Recognizes Israel as Jewish Homeland

Source: JTA, Virtual Jerusalem, 9-26-11

Spain recognized Israel as the Jewish homeland for the first time and called for a peace deal that does not affect its Jewish majority.spain recognizes israel

Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez declared Israel the homeland for the Jews during her speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.

Spain is one of Europe’s leading proponents of the Palestinians’ right to a homeland.

Jimenez called Israel “the embodiment of the project to create a homeland for the Jewish people.” She also said Israel’s security is a top issue.

She called on the United Nations to help create a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with land swaps and Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state. She also said that the issue of the right of return for Palestinian refugees should be solved in a way that keeps a Jewish majority in Israel.


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