In the middle of the afternoon on Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, picked up the phone to call the ambassador of Israel in Spain. A diplomatic clash had broken out after the embassy’s statement against the “immoral statements” of some ministers – in reference to those of Sumar and Podemos, without expressly citing them -, pointing out that “certain elements within the Spanish Government have chosen to align themselves with this ISIS-type terrorism.” Albares moved to Rodica Radian-Gordon that he considered the statement an “unfriendly gesture” and that there would be a response. The Government, which speaks of a “specific incident”, considers the clash settled and seeks to minimize damage by disavowing the “opinions” of the ministers of the minority partner.
“Foreign policy is set by the President of the Government and the Minister of Foreign Affairs,” said Albares in an attempt to downplay the positions that members of Podemos and Sumar have been expressing. This same Tuesday, the acting Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, stated in an interview in Catalonia Radio: “I speak on behalf of the Government of Spain and on behalf of my party, as corresponds to me due to the position I occupy.”
“One does not come to the press room of the Council of Ministers to comment on opinions, but to explain policies. And the policy of the Government of Spain in the crisis of middle East It is very clear. Each minister has our perimeter and manages certain policies. In foreign policy there are only two authorized voices: that of the President of the Government and that of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,” was Albares’ clarification, downplaying Belarra’s “opinions.”
“There is no room for equidistance, at this moment it must be said clearly that Israel is an occupying State,” were Belarra’s latest statements. There is, according to Belarra, “a will to exterminate, on the part of Israel, the Palestinian people and the people who live there,” so we must “recognize that what Israel is doing are war crimes” and “act with maximum forcefulness”.
In recent days, and also this Monday, Albares has been in contact with the acting second vice president and leader of Sumar, Yolanda Díaz. Among other things, they discussed the statement issued by Foreign Affairs after that of the Israeli embassy. Díaz in recent days had denounced Israel’s “apartheid” to the Palestinian population and has expressed “condemnation of violence against the civilian population, wherever it comes from.” From Sumar they have also spoken that Israel “exercises Gaza a collective punishment” or that this double standard of measurement was not “fair.” “The main person responsible for this secular conflict is the occupying country and its apartheid regime.”