Recognition of Palestine: Europe in all its States

Recognition of Palestine: Europe in all its States
Recognition of Palestine: Europe in all its States

There are therefore electoral promises which do not only bind those who receive them… Commitment of the coalition between the PSOE and SUMAR in 2023, the project to recognize Palestine was reiterated by Madrid last spring, by a letter co-signed with the Ireland, Slovenia and Malta. It is written there that “the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the region is to implement a two-state solution, with Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side in peace and security.” Spain finally confirms this recognition, this May 22, alongside Ireland and Norway, a symbolic country in the management of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, since Oslo was the city which welcomed, in 1993, Rabin and Arafat, signatories of eponymous agreements, which gave rise to hope for peace and laid the foundations for the two States. It is in this spirit that the three European countries are registering their initiative today, betting on making a splash on their continent… But hailed by Hamas, and condemned by Israel, this symbolic gesture poses, on the north bank of the Mediterranean, more questions than it solves problems…

Is this the time for a European country to initiate recognition of the Palestinian state? Without a doubt, in view of both the diplomatic agenda and the initiatives carried out in April in the Security Council, then in May in the General Assembly, for the admission of the Palestinian State to the UN, the few tools available to Europeans to influence a conflict that has lasted for eight months, and above all the promotion of two States as the only path to peace, for Israel as well as for Palestinian civilians.

A “voice for two States” to be carried all the louder, and further, as a radicalism strengthens in both camps, including on European soil, which threatens both the existence of Palestine and that of the Jewish state! The recognition of one should not allow any ambiguity as to the existence of the other… Reverse the images of recent weeks: siege of the universities of old Europe, stupidity of pro-Palestinian students, in Paris or Brussels, censoring Elie Barnavi (Israeli diplomat who became the best ambassador for the recognition of Palestine), a “European street” chanting the slogan of a Palestine “from the Jordan to the Mediterranean”, pre-1948 borders which in 2024 became campaign promises of the parties of the European radical left, who, in Spain, are already playing one-upmanship, the day after the gesture of their Prime Minister… If, in the French language, the word recognition is polysemous, “recognizing oneself as a debtor” during an electoral period is never good sign.

Is now the time for Europe to collectively commit to recognizing Palestine? Certainly, it would have been more impactful to speak with one voice from Brussels. But this recognition by only two states (Norway is not a member of the EU), which is added to nine others, further underlines the divisions between Europeans on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The divide has intensified since October 7, and positions have hardened in reaction to the ICC prosecutor’s simultaneous request for arrest warrants against Hamas leaders on the one hand, and against Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister on the other hand, and highlights the weakness of the EU on this issue. No initiative of 27 is possible.

Among those who could join the ranks, Slovenia is expected soon, Malta undoubtedly… but none of the other Euro-Mediterranean players. Portugal did give a positive sign during its vote at the UN, but has already warned that recognition was not on the agenda.

As for France, expected in the Middle East, even demanded, in a recent article in the newspaper The worldat the initiative of Nadia Benjelloun, and with the beautiful Moroccan presence, mixing intellectuals and artists, including Fouad Bellamine and Abdellatif Laâbi, highlighting the “essential role of France in the recognition process»… Paris believes that the conditions are not met “to date for this decision to have a real impact» towards the implementation of a two-state solution. It is urgent to wait…

At this rate of recognition of Palestine, Europe appears not only divided, but soon isolated on the international level, where 143 countries out of 193 have already taken the plunge… Paradox of a European Union which is also the primary financial support for the Palestinians!

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