The flag of Ireland. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
(JNS.org) The Irish government will accept a motion proposed by the opposition Sinn Fein party on Tuesday that asks the country’s parliament to recognize a Palestinian state. The decision comes after the upper house of Ireland’s legislature passed a motion in October calling for such recognition.
The motion asks the government to “officially recognize the State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, as established in UN resolutions, as a further positive contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Ireland is the latest in a string of European nations taking this step. The French National Assembly voted 339-151 in favor of urging its government to recognize a Palestinian state last week. The Danish government will also vote on the issue in early January, while similar votes took place in the parliaments of Great Britain, Ireland, and Spain. One nation, Sweden, has officially recognized Palestinian statehood, while votes by the other countries have been symbolic. A vote by the European Parliament on the recognition of a Palestinian state is expected in mid-December.
“The predominate perception in Europe still blames Israel for the lack of progress for peace, not the Palestinians,” Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS.org last week.
“They think that somehow recognizing Palestine as a state will somehow send a message to Israel [that] unless Israel does things differently there will be negative political repercussions,” he added.
Members of the lower house of the Irish parliament are discussing the motion on Tuesday and Wednesday, but a spokesman said the Irish government will not be opposing the bill, the Jerusalem Post reported. That means the bill will not be voted on by the members of parliament.
“To the Palestinians such a move signals that they don’t have to make the necessary compromises in peace talks and that it is even ok to circumvent such direct talks altogether. To the Israelis, recognition suggests that Europe is not an honest broker,” Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, recently told JNS.org.
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