Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s (ODS) trip to Africa caused a number of critical reactions. Mainly because of Nigeria’s rescinded invitation. According to foreign policy experts, it is not so much the expression of support for Israel as the style in which some Czech ministers stand up for the attacked country. It is said that this could mean a big problem for Czech foreign policy.
Amateurism – that’s how experts talk about the way some Czech politicians have chosen to express their support for Israel. “Unfortunately, in recent weeks, Czech foreign policy or Czech politicians have not avoided some quite unnecessary gestures that go far beyond what they would have to do in the given situation. They want to show their unequivocal support in relation to Israel to the extent that they end up exposing themselves to the international scene of anger from countries that are more moderate in this regard and see the other side of the conflict,” says political scientist Jiří Pehe.
“It’s a question of what kind of politics is going on in Nigeria right now. In the UN vote, we were among about 7 countries that only voted in support of Israel. It can certainly have some effect because it’s a war that is hugely dividing that society across the world ,” pointed out Echo24 portal commentator Lenka Zlámalová.
”Imagine that such an Antony Blinken (US Secretary of State, note ed.) wrapped in the flag of Israel and then he would go to negotiate something in the Middle East. This is absolutely absurd. It makes no sense at all for the Czech Republic to act like a fan of Israel, because that is unproductive and then you are no longer able to negotiate anything,” warned former Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek (SOCDEM).
The statement of the Minister of Defense Jana Černochová (ODS), who proposed withdrawing from the UN, was also criticized at a time when the Czech Republic announced that it wanted to be a candidate for the Security Council. “It is a diplomatic signal that can, for example, threaten the candidacy of the Czech Republic for the Security Council. Given that Minister Síkela’s trip to Saudi Arabia has already been canceled, it is possible that it is really related to the statements made, for example, by Mrs. Minister Černochová about the UN,” thinks former Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (SOCDEM).
“I don’t understand why I should apologize. For supporting Israel? I simply told the truth about the UN, that it is unfortunately toothless and anti-Semitic,” Černochová defended herself after her statements. According to experts, we can be an unreadable and biased partner for a number of countries, and states can stop dealing with us.