The French National Assembly has voted 339 to 151 in favor of urging its government to recognize a Palestinian state Tuesday, becoming the latest European country to take up the issue.
The resolution proposed by the ruling Socialists and backed by other left-wing parties asked the government to “use the recognition of a Palestinian state with the aim of resolving the conflict definitively.”
Similar measures have recently been passed in the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland, while Sweden formally recognized Palestinian statehood in October. Denmark and the European Parliament are expected to take up similar measures in December and January.
“Europeans may have nothing but good intentions, but recognizing Palestine without the PA [Palestinian Authority] first achieving a settlement with Israel is ultimately misguided. It would be a setback for the quest for real peace and the establishment of a real Palestinian state,” Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, told JNS.org.
While the French vote was largely symbolic, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is spearheading an international effort to restart peace talks has declared that this will be a final effort.
“If this final effort to reach a negotiated solution fails, then France will have to do what it takes by recognizing without delay the Palestinian state,” Fabius said.
In a statement following the vote, Israel’s embassy in Paris said that “Israel considers the vote to be an error that sends the wrong message to the peoples of the [Middle East] region. Israel underlines the fact that the consistent policy of the French government remains unchanged: Only a negotiated solution will terminate the conflict.”