Singapore: Severing ties with Israel wouldn’t resolve the ongoing conflict

Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan admitted that Israel’s military response “has gone too far” but severing ties with Israel would neither resolve the ongoing conflict nor reduce sufferings of the Palestinians.

“We manage our international relations by remaining engaged with the international community and maintaining ties with as many countries possible,” he said, as it is in the interest of Singapore’s national interest as a small country,” he said, reported Channel News Asia.

He said breaking ties would not be “constructive” or change the situation.

He also noted that none of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council cut ties with Israel. The same can be said of Egypt and Jordan.

He added that the ongoing war has evoked strong emotions among Singaporeans but the issue also cannot affect Singapore’s harmony and cohesion.

“Whilst we may feel a diversity of emotions on this, the worst thing would be to let this quarrel polarise and divide us as Singaporeans,” he told MPs in response to questions while presenting his ministry’s budget spending plans for the year in parliament.

The current conflict began on Oct 7 last year with Hamas launching an integrated attack upon Israel, killing 1,200 Israelis and kidnapping hundreds of civilians.

Israel responded with relentless bombardments on Gaza that has resulted in over 30,000 Palestinian civilians dead.

Singapore condemned the attack and recognised Israel’s right to self-defence, similar to how Singapore recognised of any country’s right that have been attacked, he had previously said, reported Channel News Asia.

Singapore maintains ties with the Palestinian Authority and Israel.