Israel is potentially on the verge of growing a significant connection with Spain, but should they do so? The news came from the Jerusalem Post on September 30, 2015, that “Israel Military Industries [is] to supply Spain with NATO-qualified ammunition.” News also came on the same day that Spain is beginning to review applications for citizenship from descendants of Jews exiled from Spain centuries ago.
Such personal and nongovernmental connections between the two peoples of Spain and Israel could grow formal governmental relations between the two countries. There is an especial added weight where money and weaponry are involved, because governments are deeply concerned with these two areas.
Why are they so concerned with these areas, namely money and weapons, in concern that could lead to cooperation? Governments are run by people! (That’s why they can fare so badly…). Such a people presence in government leads to the inroad for issues having to do with people to matter in intergovernmental cooperation. People bring their concerns with them to government and run the government accordingly.
Therefore, like governmental cooperation theorists have suggested, government cooperation starts with feelings and issues in the respective populations. Governments cooperate because the populations have shared interests- but, the question is should they? More specifically, Should the governments of Spain and Israel go forward with some sort of cooperation?
The answer is, seemingly, no. The feelings of people having inroads in government is simultaneously an interesting fact and a grave danger. Precisely when ideals dictate actions is when the danger begins. Why? Ideals are not independent of the people who made them. So, in other words, with increased cooperation, here comes the potential for manipulation, deception, and all of the other bad things that go on between people.
Spain has a significant track record of societal feelings that are definitively anti-Israel, like the whole issue with Matisyahu having troubles at a concert because he wouldn’t acknowledge the “State of Palestine.” Again, these feelings in society matter, since the feelings and societal norms of the population are what runs the government of any nation. Additionally, during Summer 2014, as a real example, the Spanish Government undertook measures against the State of Israel in response to the War in Gaza- red flags that Spain may be using becoming a puppet state of the West as its tool for growth in stature, and thus is volatile and should be treated warily.
At the United Nations General Assembly Debate on September 30, 2015, Spain expressed a stance on multiple fronts that concern the people of Israel. His Excellency, Mr. José Manuel García Margallo, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Spain, insisted that “There can be no negotiation with terrorists,” a point of course that is very important to the people and Government of Israel- But, he also stated that it was a commitment of the Spanish Government to encourage both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to return to negotiations and to support, apparently, “the two state solution.”
Such views are ideological and laced with the Western consensus against Israel. Israel would do well to stay away from Spain, and probably from most other countries available for potential cooperation. Intergovernmental cooperation can have significant negative implications because it turns into interpersonal cooperation, which is quite messy and destructive. Additionally, Spain has a questionable track record regarding its potential to actually be a positive force in Israeli political issues.
Another one of the issues that Spain voiced support for at the United Nations on September 30 was “territorial integrity.” Such an ideal has repeatedly been used to assert the so-called Palestinian right to control most of the land of Israel; it is like the cry of “human rights violations” against the Israelis- nice sounding, but laced with poison, as it were, the poison of a hidden agenda. Israel should stay away from Spain, and perhaps, hopefully, Spain may come out more clearly soon as an actor against Israel (or for Israel).