By: Georgina Buckley
The recognition of Palestine as a state has been growing traction across the European Union. On October 13 British lawmakers voted in favor of a symbolic recognition of Palestine. Sweden took a step further and formally announced its recognition of Palestine as a state on October 30. This move was met with criticism by both Israel and the United States. However, British lawmakers supported their move by stating that the recognition of Palestine was tied to what they saw as a contribution to a negotiated two-state solution. Israeli officials feared that the move by Sweden could trigger other European countries to follow suit. Additionally, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Israel said in a statement that the Swedish government should understand that relations in the Middle East are “more complex than one of Ikea’s flat-pack pieces of furniture, and would do well to act with greater sensitivity and responsibility.” One would think that comparing Swedish governmental decisions to Ikea furniture would not exactly display the greatest sensitivity. However, Israeli fears of more E.U. nations following suit are not unfounded. On November 28, French lawmakers will vote on a proposal submitted by the French socialist party to recognize Palestine as a state. The French have reasoned that recognition of Palestine as a state will promote peace. The impact that these decisions will have on the negotiation process between Israel and Palestine will soon be seen.
Georgina Buckley is a 3L at The Pennsylvania State University–The Dickinson School of Law, and a Senior Editor on the Journal of Law and International Affairs.