Govt flies Israeli flag in solidarity with Israel

Ljubljana – An Israeli flag has been hoisted along the Slovenian and EU flags on the Slovenian government building as an expression of solidarity with Israel amidst an escalating conflict with armed Palestinian groups.

“We condemn the terrorist attacks and we stand by Israel,” says a post on the government’s official Twitter account, where photos of the flags have been published.

Prime Minister Janez Janša posted the same message on his Twitter account.

The move follows Austria, where an Israeli flag has been flown at the seat of government and the Foreign Ministry, and the Czech Republic, where an Israeli flag has been raised at Prague Castle, the seat of the president.

President Borut Pahor expressed disagreement with the government’s decision, tweeting that he was “not in favour of the expression of the country’s views on international issues with the raising of other countries’ flags”.

He also endorsed the recent EU appeal for an end to Israeli-Palestinian violence and reiterated his statement that the dispute should be resolved peacefully in accordance with the two-state solution.

Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič said he was “not in favour” of such “cheerleading raising of flags”. “In armed conflicts, Slovenia should pursue a neutral stance and support initiatives for negotiations and the achievement of peace.”

There was a rally in support of Palestine in front of the Israeli consulate in Ljubljana in the afternoon as about 100 protesters chanted slogans such as “Free Palestine” and “Death to Israeli occupation”.

Some also protested against the flying of the Israeli flag. The crowd featured several Palestinian refugees who have relatives in Gaza, public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported.