Singapore implemented an opportunistic policy in responding to the Gaza War. Photo/Reuters
GAZA – Since the outbreak of war in Gaza, the small Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore has taken a non-interference stance, reflecting its long-standing foreign policy centered on “a friend to everyone and an enemy to no one”.
At a special session of parliament earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong explained that “Singapore’s longstanding support for the two-state solution remains unchanged”, namely that the Palestinian people have the right to a homeland and that Israelis have the right to live in a safe environment. border.
“Singapore has consistently taken a principled position in line with international law and supports global peace and security,” stressed Wong.
The country strongly condemned the October 7 Hamas attack in southern Israel, which left 1,200 people dead and around 200 taken prisoner, as an “act of terrorism”.
But it also condemned the rising death toll in Gaza, and Israel’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was “deeply concerned” about the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave, where more than 13,000 people have been killed since Israeli bombardment began.
In late October, Singapore was among 120 countries that voted in favor of a resolution to protect civilians and uphold legal and humanitarian obligations during an emergency session of the UN General Assembly.
The following are 5 reasons why Singapore implemented the ‘Friend to Everyone, Not Anyone’s Enemy’ strategy in the Israel-Gaza war
1. Comply with International Law
“Singapore’s approach is based on adherence to international law, in particular the independence and sovereignty of the state,” said political analyst and law professor at Singapore Management University (SMU) Eugene Tan.
Tan told Al Jazeera that there was “no contradiction” in the attitude of Singaporeans who empathize with the suffering of the Palestinian people and take the position that attacks on Israel are unjustified.
At the same time, “it is also possible to support Israel’s right to defend itself and for Israel to utilize the use of force to protect its legitimate interests, but also demand that Israel’s response be consistent with international rules and requirements. law so that the safety, security and welfare of civilians is maintained,” he said.
“What the debate in parliament showed was that Singaporeans have very strong views regarding the tragedies occurring in the Middle East region, but nevertheless reached a consensus on how Singapore and Singaporeans should respond… In short, Singaporeans firmly believe that Israel and Palestine have the right to do that. the right to live in peace, security and dignity.”
2. There are no demonstrations supporting Palestine and condemning Israel