Jan 30 2015
By Daoud Kuttab
The results of the snap elections in Greece, which propelled the leftist Syriza Party to power this week, sent shockwaves to many world capitals.
Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister, has vowed to fulfill his electoral promises, including reversing the harsh austerity plans that Europe has imposed on his country.
French President Francoise Hollande was among the first leaders to congratulate the new Greek leader.
France and Spain are facing economic austerity plans similar to Greece’s, and they will be watching carefully how Greece will deal with its major creditors, including Germany and the United Kingdom, who had engineered the very tough austerity plan that Tsipras used to vault into power.
While all the focus of the coverage of the Greek elections was on the economic policy, the radical leftist leader has been very vocal on where he sees his country’s position regarding Israel and Palestine.
During his political life, and especially in the current election campaign, Tsipras has vowed to end Greece’s military cooperation and joint exercise with Israel and to recognize the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders.
“Seeing Israel killing children in Palestine is unacceptable. We should unite our voices and forces so as to live in peace, expressing our solidarity to the Palestinian people,” Tsipras said during an anti-Israel demonstration in Athens last summer.
“When civilians and children are killed at beaches facing the same sea that borders on the European continent, we cannot remain passive, because if this happens on the other side of the Mediterranean today, it can happen on our own side tomorrow,” he said in reference to Israel’s killing of four Palestinian youths playing on the Gaza beach in August 2014. Continue Reading »