By: Sara Bertoncelj /Nova24tv
Yesterday, they blasted the discussion of a whole bunch of laws that would contribute to a better life for Slovenes, and today they would convene extraordinary sessions due to the problems of the Middle East. Levica party announced today that it will propose a convening of an emergency session of the parliamentary committee for foreign policy due to the recent violence in the Middle East. Maybe they should sometimes listen to their own advice and mind their own business before playing world police – as they often like to accuse the United States. Years ago, Matej T. Vatovec was the first to sign a proposal for Slovenia to recognise Palestine as an independent state, which did not happen.
Levica party announced today that it will propose a convening of an emergency meeting of the parliamentary committee on foreign policy due to the recent violence in the Middle East. According to the leader of the Levica parliamentary group, Matej T. Vatovec, the extraordinary session will, among other things, supposedly also inform them about violations of Slovenia’s foreign policy by the government. The emergency session of the OZP is also expected to take note of the latest report by the international human rights NGO Human Rights Watch on the situation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, STA reports. Levica, of course, did not forget to announce that the Slovenian government, after the violence in East Jerusalem, which has led to more than a week of fighting in Gaza, has decided to support only the Israeli side, contrary to the relative caution of previous governments.
Levica is convinced that this is a precedent that turns our foreign policy orientation 180 degrees on the issue of the Middle East peace process. “With this, Slovenia has sided with the violations of international agreements and the regime, which is already definitively recognised in the international community as apartheid,” Vatovec added. The report by the international human rights organisation Human Rights Watch on the situation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip states, among other things, that in most of this area, where about 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live, Israel is the only ruling authority that methodically privileges Jewish Israelis and discriminates against Palestinians. It adds that the laws, policies, and statements of leading Israeli officials make it clear that the goal of maintaining Jewish-Israeli control over demographics, political power and land has long guided government policy. To achieve this goal, the authorities expropriated, imprisoned, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians with varying degrees of intensity. In some areas, as mentioned in the report, these acts are so serious that they constitute crimes against humanity.
The European Union has classified the Hamas movement as a terrorist organisation
While the Levica party is critical of the Slovenian government’s definition, they themselves support the terrorist organisation Hamas. In 2015, the European Union classified the Hamas movement as a terrorist organisation. Hamas appealed the decision, but the EU court rejected the appeal, as reported by the MMC portal. The Union included Hamas on its list of terrorist organisations for the first time at the end of 2001. The latter sought to challenge the 2015 decision, inter alia, by arguing that the decision was not supported by any evidence. It also claimed that its right to a defence was thus denied and that its right to property was violated due to the freezing of funds. The Luxembourg court rejected Hamas’ arguments that, in the opinion of the Hamas judges, it was neither a state nor a government of a state and thus could not enjoy the right to the principle of non-interference. They also reminded that the decision to classify Hamas as a terrorist organisation was partly based on the order of the British Home Secretary and the decision of the US Secretary of State from October 2017, who described Hamas as a foreign terrorist organisation.
Slovenia has not recognised the state of Palestine, nor have most EU member states
It should also be mentioned that Slovenia has not recognised the state of Palestine, which has been the subject of heated debate in our area in recent years. The Foreign Ministry has long been of the opinion that Slovenia should not recognise Palestine individually, but only together with a group of other EU members. When former US President Donald Trump decided to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Karl Erjavec, then in the role of foreign minister, began to suggest that he was leaning toward another possibility – that is, that Slovenia should recognise Palestine independently. A state is not created by recognition, but when it meets the three criteria prescribed by international law. According to these criteria, an entity must have a certain territory, population, and effective authority or organisation, independent of other states. Palestine does not meet the third criterion – as it has no territorial contingency, and thus no independence from the Jewish state. “The argument that Palestine will be more equal to Israel in bilateral negotiations on the basis of Slovenian and other recognitions is on shaky ground,” upbudi.si portal summarised Dr. Primož Šterbenc.
In 2018, the parliamentary committee for foreign policy (OPZ) decided that it should not decide on the initiative for Slovenia to recognise Palestine as an independent state, as not all legal conditions are met. Janez Janša supported this decision with the opinion that we should stop making a farce on this issue. At the time, the 24ur portal reported that the SDS party was also in principle against recognising Palestine at the time because it did not have all the attributes needed for a state. Janša was also of the opinion that recognition of Slovenia would not bring any benefit, but only harm. Erjavec did not agree with this result, but in the end the proposal was supported by ten members of the committee, and six were against it. Therefore, we cannot claim that our foreign policy orientation is turning 180 degrees on the issue of the Middle East peace process.
“The beard of sympathy between the Slovene left, the proud heir of the communist regime, and Palestine is so long that even King Matjaž would envy it,” they wrote on the domovina.je portal, explaining that it was already during World War II, when our communists made a pact with the Nazis, that the Arab world accompanied Hitler with sympathies. After the war, Yugoslavia also stood by Palestine. “Recognition of Palestine is thus only an ideological victory of the Slovenian left, which supports the anti-Semitic policy of Palestinian terrorists and implements the policy of its predecessors,” they stressed.