Luxembourg Politicians Divided on Israel and Gaza Issue
More than three weeks after the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas in Israel and the subsequent Israeli response with continuous airstrikes in Gaza, the political landscape in Luxembourg has shifted towards empathy for the loss of innocent lives, revealing political divisions with varying support for the parties involved.
While neighboring countries, especially France, swiftly took sides on the Israel-Palestine crisis, the political environment in Luxembourg, which had recently held parliamentary elections, temporarily put a halt on this matter. In general, political discussions on this sensitive issue have been limited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Corinne Cahen, representative of the Democratic Party, commented on the Israel issue: "It's difficult to make peace with neighbors who have only one command: 'Your death!'" She shared this sentiment along with an article written by Philippe Val, former editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, which questions the necessity for Palestinians to have a Jewish neighbor in the future.
The article, which examines whether supporting Israel and empathizing with the oppressed populations in Gaza accentuates party-line divisions, highlights a different perspective. On the other end of the political spectrum, Natalie Oberweis, former representative of the left-wing party, utilized her parliamentary platform to express support for the oppressed Palestinian people and condemn the "collective punishment decided by Israeli authorities." She also addressed the "threat of a massacre" imposed on Gaza.
While Ms. Cohen believes "many people need a history lesson," Ms. Oberweis also shared a timeline of the crisis compiled by Amnesty International and stated, "Justifying the historical context is not an excuse."
Current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Asselborn, shares Natalie Oberweis's "thoughts and concerns" regarding the "very critical humanitarian situation in the Gaza region." The head of Luxembourg diplomacy emphasized that "Israel's right to self-defense must be in accordance with international law and human rights."
However, what will be Luxembourg's position in an ever-volatile environment with the new foreign minister?