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Danish lawmakers overwhelmingly vote down proposal to recognize ‘Palestinian state’

The Danish Parliament (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Danish Parliament rejected a legal proposal to recognize “Palestine” as an independent state on Tuesday. Eighty-three Danish lawmakers opposed while 21 lawmakers supported the motion. 

During a previous debate on the issue in April, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen emphasized the government’s position, stating that the concern is not ideological opposition but rather timing.

"We cannot recognize an independent Palestinian state, for the sole reason that the preconditions are not really there," Rasmussen said

“We cannot support this resolution, but we wish that there will come a day where we can,” the foreign minister added. 

Denmark’s top diplomat was referring to the conventional definitions of statehood, which include a legitimate government exercising effective control over a specific population and clearly defined borders.

The Palestinian Authority, plagued with corruption, is unpopular and lacks defined borders and a strong administration. Its rival, the Hamas terrorist organization, still maintains control of the more than two million residents in the Gaza Strip. Consequently, “Palestine” lacks defined borders, and its weak governance is divided between two rival regimes that have failed to maintain law and order.

The political drama in the Danish parliament was set in motion in February when four left-wing parties introduced a bill to recognize Palestine as an independent state. 

Sasha Faxe, a lawmaker from "The Alternative," a far-left party, claimed that achieving peace in the Middle East would require recognizing a Palestinian state.

"The vast majority of Danish politicians agree that there will be no lasting peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution," she argued

Denmark’s Middle Eastern policy differs dramatically from its Scandinavian neighbors, Norway and Sweden.

Unlike Norway, Denmark has been largely supportive of Israel’s war against Hamas. Following the Oct. 7 massacre of over 1,200 Israelis, the Danish queen, prime minister, foreign minister and other top leaders attended a special event in Copenhagen’s main synagogue to show their solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. 

Norway recently joined Spain and Ireland and unilaterally recognized “Palestine” as an independent state despite vocal Israeli opposition. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre justified Oslo’s diplomatic move by claiming that there would be no “peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition.” 

“The terror has been committed by Hamas and militant groups who are not supporters of a two-state solution and the state of Israel,” Støre argued

However, contrary to the Norwegian leader’s claims, Hamas praised the countries of Norway, Spain and Ireland for their unilateral diplomatic support.

The Iranian-backed terror proxy called their decision “an important step on the way to establishing the Palestinians’ right to their land and establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Israeli leaders have warned that such a unilateral move constitutes a major reward for Hamas and the unprecedented Oct. 7 terror attack. In response, Israel recalled its ambassadors from Norway, Ireland and Spain for consultations.

In 2014, Sweden became the first European country to formally recognize “Palestine.” The nation repeatedly accused Israel of “extrajudicial killings” for defending itself against Palestinian terrorists, which led to dramatically deteriorating ties between the two countries.

In 2021, bilateral relations between Sweden and Israel improved when former Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who now leads the opposition, spoke with his Swedish counterpart Anna Linde in what reportedly was the first high-level conversation in seven years. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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