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By Bert Wilkinson, Caribbean Life —

As if they have coordinated their moves, three Caribbean Community nations recently took steps to recognize Palestine as a state as support for Palestinians increases and as there is growing condemnation of the Israeli military for allegedly committing genocide.

Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad are the latest of nearly a dozen regional nations to recognize Palestinian sovereignty and the two-state solution, meaning that both nations have the right to co-exist as independent states and as neighbors in The Middle East.

The moves come just weeks after influential regional Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados called the action of the Israeli military against unprotected Palestinians as genocide, joining other heads of government including President Irfaan Ali of Guyana in so dubbing the military action.

Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali addresses nationals at a diaspora town hall meeting at the Hotel Liberty Inn & Suites in Queens.

Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali addresses nationals at a diaspora town hall meeting at the Hotel Liberty Inn & Suites in Queens.

“The world’s first televised genocide is uniting the people of the world, even if their governments do not want to be united. And we say simply that Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to be separated from the people of Israel because, as we have seen, they are Israelis who understand that what is happening in the Gaza Strip, in spite of the fact that all that has happened is wrong and disproportionate,” she told an international forum. “We condemn, of course, what happened to the Israelis from Hamas. But we must now condemn what is happening disproportionately to the people of Gaza,” she said.

In announcing its decisions, all three leading CARICOM bloc member states called for the two-state solution to end the decades of strife, with Barbados noting that while it has been calling for such in the past, it is moving to correct an anomaly by formally recognizing the state of Palestine.

“Ironically, despite having said to the world that we would like to see a two-state solution, Barbados itself has never recognized the State of Palestine. And therefore, there is an incongruity and inconsistency because ‘how can we say we want a two-state solution if we do not recognize Palestine as a State’? So, I have taken to the cabinet the necessary paper in order to allow us to formally recognize, I think, an error that we have made through the years and to correct that. And now, we have formally reached out to the State of Palestine to signal our intention to formally recognize them as a State,” Foreign Minister Kerrie Symmonds said.

Of the 15-nations in the bloc, Belize has taken the most drastic action, recently suspending formal relations with Israel, recalling its ambassador and cancelling a request for accreditation of an honorary consul to Israel. It said it was upset with “the indiscriminate bombing of the Gaza Strip.”

Jamaica, meanwhile through Foreign Minister Kamina Smith Johnson said that Jamaica believes that the two-state solution is “the only viable option to resolve the longstanding conflict, guarantee the security of Israel and uphold the dignity and rights of Palestinians. By recognizing the State of Palestine, Jamaica strengthens its advocacy towards a peaceful solution,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith said in a press statement.

The Keith Rowley administration in Trinidad said it was recognizing Palestine because “cabinet has determined that the formal recognition of Palestine by the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will assist in the achievement of a lasting peace by strengthening the growing international consensus on the issue of Palestinian statehood.”

Source: Caribbean Life
Featured image: Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley.


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.