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Leaders from Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta have declared their readiness to acknowledge the State of Palestine as a crucial step towards achieving peace and stability in the conflict-ridden region. During a meeting on the sidelines of a summit in Brussels, they emphasized their willingness to recognize Palestine when it could contribute positively to the situation. They stressed the necessity of a two-state solution, with both Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting peacefully.

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob expressed optimism about garnering political support for Palestine at the United Nations, suggesting that conditions for establishing a Palestinian government could be ripe in the near future. Currently, nine out of the EU’s 27 member states recognize Palestine based on the 1967 borders. Belgium, represented at the meeting, also supports Palestinian statehood but may be constrained from signing such declarations due to its presidency of the Council of the EU.

While the EU backs the two-state solution and provides significant aid to Palestinians, it has not unanimously supported recognizing a Palestinian state. Spain and Ireland have been vocal advocates for recognizing Palestine, particularly following the recent conflict in Gaza. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez emphasized the importance of unified action among EU countries rather than unilateral recognition. He stressed the need for careful timing to ensure a lasting peace.

The political diversity of the leaders involved suggests broad consensus on the necessity of recognizing Palestine for future peace efforts. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also confirmed ongoing discussions among member states regarding formal recognition of Palestine to facilitate more equitable negotiations post-conflict.

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In an unprecedented turn of events in Paris this weekend, a significant demonstration took place in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict, drawing representatives from major political parties. Notably, the far right, including Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella of the National Rally, participated, while the far left, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon of France Unbowed, boycotted the event, citing it as a gathering for supporters of the Gaza massacre.

This shift is symbolic, considering historical political dynamics in France. Traditionally, the far right was ostracized due to its perceived anti-Republican views, especially on Jewish issues. The far left, on the other hand, despite criticism, remained part of the broader political spectrum. However, the current scenario reflects a shake-up in the political landscape.

The contemporary far right in France, now labeled as “hard right” or “national right,” has shifted focus from past anti-Semitic stances to prioritize issues such as immigration, insecurity, and Islamism, aligning with some Jewish perspectives. Meanwhile, the far left interprets the Gaza conflict through an anti-colonial lens, emphasizing solidarity with the oppressed against perceived superpower aggression.

This unusual alignment sees a party with a history of Holocaust denial, like the National Rally, supporting French Jews openly. Conversely, a party built on human rights and equality, like France Unbowed, faces accusations of antisemitism for not condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization.

While nuances exist, the overall trend shows the National Rally under Marine Le Pen successfully integrating into the mainstream, while France Unbowed under Jean-Luc Mélenchon appears to be distancing itself. Opinion polls reinforce this, with Marine Le Pen leading in presidential election polls, while Mélenchon’s support has declined.

Serge Klarsfeld, a prominent figure in the fight against antisemitism in France, acknowledges the irony. He appreciates the far right’s departure from antisemitism, seeing it align with Republican values, yet expresses sadness over the far left’s perceived abandonment of efforts to combat antisemitism.

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Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Micheál Martin has confirmed that Irish officials are in touch with the family of Kim Damti, a 22-year-old Irish-Israeli woman who has gone missing in Israel amidst a recent wave of attacks.

Kim Damti was last seen at a party in southern Israel as attacks by the Hamas militant group escalated.

Micheál Martin stated that the Department of Foreign Affairs and consular officials are aware of the situation but did not provide specific comments at this time.

Kim’s mother, Jennifer Damti, recounted her last conversation with her daughter, who asked, “Mummy, what should I do?” Her brother advised her to seek shelter, but the family has not had contact with her since.

Describing the attacks, Jennifer Damti expressed her desire for the world to condemn the violence and emphasized that she did not raise her children to hate anyone.

Kim’s father and brother are now visiting hospitals with Kim’s hairbrush, hoping to make a DNA match if necessary.

Israeli security forces are engaged in operations to rescue hostages taken by Palestinian militants and reclaim areas seized during the recent attacks.

The surprise attack by Hamas gunmen, accompanied by intense rocket fire, has reportedly resulted in casualties on both sides. The Irish government has condemned the attack and offered assistance to Irish citizens affected by the situation, calling for de-escalation.

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