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'No prizes for terrorism' - Visiting Israel, Spanish opposition leader condemns Spain’s recognition of Palestine

Spanish opposition Leader Santiago Abascal (left) and Israeli Diaspora Minisiter Amichai Chikli (right) meet with IDF soldiers, May 29, 2024. (Photo: Veo Israel)

The leader of the conservative Spanish VOX party arrived in Israel on Tuesday to express solidarity and show his support for the Israeli military to dismantle the Hamas terrorist organization and secure the release of the hostages from the Gaza Strip.

Spanish politician Santiago Abascal met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli during his visit and stated there would be, "No prizes for terrorism. No state for Palestine."

On Wednesday, Abascal was accompanied by Chikli on a tour of the City of David in Jerusalem, where he met with IDF troops.

"Today in Jerusalem, I understand more than ever the attachment of the people of Israel to Jerusalem," Abascal said.

Abascal's visit to Israel coincides with the announcement by Spain, Norway, and Ireland that they would recognize a "Palestinian state," which has drawn harsh criticism across Israel and among Christians for ostensibly rewarding terrorism.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was accused of using the announcement to divert attention from corruption and influence-peddling charges related to his wife's business and private affairs.

During the tour, Abascal criticized Sánchez for being disconnected from reality and the Spanish people, accusing him of acting "out of personal political needs."

"Any decision he makes that harms the people of Israel will be canceled by me," Abascal added.

Abascal noted the political situation in Spain regarding Catalonia separatism, drawing parallels to Israel’s fight to exist. "We face a similar thing in Spain – all kinds of groups that claim sovereignty based on nothing and nothing."

Chikli thanked Abascal and his party for supporting Israel and standing with them in the fight against Jihadist terror.  

Abascal’s visit was a welcomed display of Spanish solidarity with the Jewish state amid the call last week by Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz for the European Union to break ties with Israel.

Diaz used the slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” in a video speech, claiming it was a call for a two-state solution. Her comment evoked sharp criticism from Israeli leaders.

“The Israeli people and the Spanish people are friendly people. We will not allow you, Sánchez and Díaz, nor the members of your government, to separate us,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote.

“Khamenei, Sinwar and the Vice Premier of Spain, Yolanda Díaz, call for the disappearance of the State of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian Islamic terrorist state from the river to the sea.”

Katz called Díaz an “ignorant hate-filled person," and said if she "wants to truly understand what radical Islam wants, she should learn about the 700 years of Islamic rule in Al-Andalus – modern-day Spain.”

The phrase “From the river to the sea” is a reference to the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in Israel and is understood to be a call for the elimination of a Jewish homeland and the ethnic cleansing or genocide against Israel’s Jewish population.

Díaz told the EFE News Agency that her call for the EU to break ties with Israel was not a call for the ethnic cleansing of Jews, as her critics charge, but an endorsement of how “Israel and Palestine must share a future of peace and prosperity.”

European Jews have called for Díaz’s resignation, saying her statements were “an endorsement of Hamas’ ideology and “carried with it echoes of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Spain in 1492.”

“She must resign,” the European Jewish Association said in a statement.

ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel lobby group based in Madrid, said Díaz is “a communist and leader of the Sumar far-left party – a miserable Nazi.”

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

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