European Parliament Votes to Recognize Palestinian State

On 17.12.2014 members of the European Parliament voted on the adoption of the proposed resolution to support a unilaterally recognized Palestinian state. Although the vote was only declarative in nature, it is part of a lengthy battle by the Palestinians in the international arena to gain support for their intention to establish a Palestinian State in a one-sided move and in violation of agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Attorney Yifa Segal from the International Legal Forum initiated a letter to all members of Parliament explaining why a unilateral recognition is counterproductive and unacceptable.  A Palestinian state must only be formed through negotiations and a sustainable peace agreement with Israel. The conditions for negotiations must remain as they are currently; maintaining Israel’s security and that of its citizens, a Palestinian commitment to abandon terror, recognition of Israel’s right to exist, and the renunciation of future demands.  Bypassing the negotiation process will enable the Palestinian to continue with acts of terror and incitement. International support rewards those who choose to take this route, and could lead to further escalation furthering any possibility of reaching a permanent solution through methods of peace.  The letter stated that “the EU must condition the recognition of “Palestine” on the abandonment of violence. A Palestinian state that will not embrace peace and democracy will be a major destabilizing factor in the region.”

Lawmakers approved the motion to establish a Palestinian State by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions. It was a watered down version of an original motion which had urged EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state unconditionally, which is somewhat of an accomplishment.  The resolution adopted stated that “(The European Parliament) supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”