The French Senate and the Irish Parliament have passed non-binding measures calling on their respective governments to recognize unilateral Palestinian statehood.
French senators voted by a narrow margin of 152-146 to “invite” the French government to recognize “Palestine,” while also calling for an “immediate restarting” of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The vote comes on the heels of a similar motion by France’s lower chamber, the National Assembly, to call on the government to recognize a Palestinian state.
Meanwhile, the Irish Dail, the lower house of the country’s parliament, also voted to adopt a non-binding measure to recognize Palestinian statehood. The Irish Senate approved a similar measure back in October.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon slammed the Irish decision, saying that the Irish Parliament was giving a voice to “statements of hatred and anti-Semitism directed at Israel in a way which we have not heard before,” the Associated Press reported.
“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, recently told JNS.org.
The Danish government will also vote on the issue in early January, while the Swedish government already officially recognized “Palestine” at the end of October. Symbolic votes on Palestinian statehood recently took place in the parliaments of Britain and Spain, and a vote by the European Parliament on such recognition is expected in mid-December.