European Parliament Rejects Unconditional Recognition of Palestine

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European Parliament Rejects Unconditional Recognition of Palestine

17 December 2014 – Strasbourg - The European Parliament today neutered a resolution on Palestinian statehood, refraining from calling for immediate recognition. The motion passed in the plenary no longer “urges" EU member states to immediately recognize Palestine, as originally demanded by the Socialist, Green and left-wing groups.

Instead, the joint resolution, agreed in a compromise between the centre-right European People's Party and the centre-left Socialist Group and backed by most major groups, waters this down to "supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution." The motion passed 498 to 88 votes (with 111 abstentions).

"We all support 'in principle' Palestinian statehood. But this can only come as the result of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and the resolution reflects this position," said AJC Transatlantic Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal. "Premature recognition would undermine the peace process by signalling to Palestinians that they can avoid negotiations and compromises while damaging Europe's standing in Israel as an honest broker," Schwammenthal added. In October, Sweden became the first major Western European country to recognize “Palestine."

Lawmakers in Ireland and Britain (where only a minority of parliamentarians actually voted) passed non-binding motions on this issue. Last month's Spanish resolution did not call for immediate recognition, stressing instead that such a step "should be the result of a negotiation process between the parties."