2017-11-08 / Mideast

Israel neutral on independence

Diverging with the United States and the European Union, Israel has decided it would, for the time being, neither support nor oppose Catalonian independence, an Israeli news website reported.

Spain requested that Israel align itself with many other Western nations in rejecting a vote declaring independence, according to the report on nrg. The vote was passed by the majority of delegates in the regional government of Catalonia, a semi-autonomous area in the kingdom’s northeast.

But senior Israeli diplomats decided in internal talks to neither oppose nor support the declared independence of Catalonia, which Spain says is illegal and anti-constitutional, nrg reported.

Madrid’s efforts to keep the country united have the continued support of the U.S. government, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. The United States “supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united,” she said in a statement.

According to the report, Israel’s neutrality is a reaction to hostility in international forums by Spain, which is a major funder of anti-Israel organizations and often has criticized Israel’s actions in the Israeli-Arab conflict more harshly and vocally than other countries in the European Union. (JTA)

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