The recognition of Catalonia as an independent state as a reprisal against a possible recognition of the Palestinian state by Spain has emerged as an option for debate in Israel. Daniella Levy has raised the subject in her blog in Jerusalem daily The Times of Israel, explaining that Spain's left-wing Podemos political party is putting pressure on the new Spanish government to recognize Palestine. There is, in fact, a resolution that was passed by the Spanish parliament in 2014 calling on the government to take this step.
Last week, unionist Spanish daily ABC published an article warning that Israel could recognize Catalonia, validating the declaration of independence made in October 2017, as a diplomatic move to counter the recognition of Palestine. The Spanish newspaper argued that this might have disastrous consequences, citing a possible "domino effect" of international recognition for the Catalan Republic once the first country announced its acceptance of the new state.
Daniella Levy argues that Spain has not freed itself from the vestiges of its Franco-era past. As part of her argument, she cites resolutions passed by Spanish municipalities in favour of boycotting Israel, which in her view are "anti-semitic". The columnist says that, although the Catalan independence movement "has not been immune to antisemitism" - she accuses the left-wing CUP party of being an enemy of Israel - the Catalans have a lot in common with the Israelis.
Levy recalls that some Catalan nationalists, such as Carles Puigdemont and Jordi Pujol, see Israel as a model to follow. She also affirms that for the Spanish extreme right, the Catalans are the Jews of Spain. In her opinion, in Spain there is a strong anti-Catalan feeling and Catalonia is perceived as part of Spain's property.
The columnist says that the events of the last year have shown the dark side of Spain, with the imprisonment of politicians, censorship of websites, and so on. And she concludes by asking, in an article that offers very explicit images, whether Israelis should give their support to those who protested with open hands last October asking for the right to vote, or to those who assaulted them.
According to Levy, Spanish recognition of Palestine would not have any practical effects for Israel; however, the recognition of the Catalan Republic would be disastrous for the Spanish state, because it could indeed provoke a domino effect on international recognition. The Israeli columnist accuses the Spanish government of hypocrisy, since it recognizes the right of self-determination of the Palestinians, and yet does not accept an equivalent right for the Catalans.