The Irish gov’t said it will take such steps only if coordinated with Ireland’s allies in the EU. A gov’t source reported Dublin fears unilateral moves may be counter-productive.
The Irish lower house of parliament on Wednesday passed a non-binding motion, proposed by the opposition calling on the parliament to recognize Palestine as a state.
The motion calls on 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.”
It also recognizes that “continued Israeli settlement construction and extension activities in the West Bank, is illegal and severely threatening the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.”
However, the government said that it will take such steps only if they are coordinated with Ireland’s allies in the European Union. According to government sources cited by Associated Press, Dublin fears that unilateral moves may be counter-productive, considering recent efforts by Brussels to form a joint stance regarding the recognition of a Palestinian state.
The bid follows the passing of a motion in Ireland’s upper house in October calling on the government to formally recognize Palestine in a symbolic move that is unlikely to change policy.
The October motion had cross-party support and passed without a vote.
Tabling the motion then, opposition senator Averil Power said Ireland should “make it clear that statehood is a right of the Palestinian people and not a bargaining chip for the Israelis to play in further sham negotiations.
“In doing so, we will help increase pressure on Israel to pursue a genuine peace process that has a real prospect of delivering peace and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
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 Britain and Spain.
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.
“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.
On November 29, 2012, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
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