Palestine? No, thanks!

It is sure that other EU countries would decide to follow Sweden, Spain, Ireland and Great Britain which symbolically recognized the Palestinian as an independent state, due to the fact that they come to the conclusion that the so-called peace process has failed. Europe is becoming more and more pro-Palestinian as they believe, in reality, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not interested in peace with the Palestinians. The stuck in the peace process for so many years is even more stuck now.

The French National Assembly will also vote on a similar resolution on November 28, it is said in a draft of the proposed resolution that “the Assembly calls on the French government to recognize the Palestinian state as an instrument to achieve a final settlement of the conflict.” Denmark is also on the way…

The European Parliament is expected to vote on a draft resolution that would recognize a Palestinian state. The proponents of the initiative are the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Unified European Left Party (GUE). Senior European Parliament Members explained that the decision to proceed with this vote results from increasing frustration in Europe due to Israel’s disregard for European protests about the expansion of settlements.

The motion is expected to come to a vote by the full European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Thursday, November 27. The GUE’s draft “urges all EU member states … to recognize the State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital.”

In this discussion it is very heavy the position of Germany, Angela Merkel rejected the idea of recognizing Palestine as a state unilaterally, saying the Palestinians and Israel could solve their long-running conflict only through negotiations. She believes in a two-state solution co-existing side by side. Merkel’s objection mounts as a kind of “veto” on the subject.

Italy new Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, is on the German position. He stressed that the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state would not help bring Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the negotiating table but only push the two sides to distant corners. It is not the right moment to decide on that, and the recognition must be used when it will be necessary to get over rigidity from both sides.

The EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said that creating a two-state solution must start with the Israelis and Palestinians to re-launch a peace process, and she wishes a more decisive EU’s role to boost the stalled peace process.

My question is: what are we going to recognize?

The basics of a statehood are a strong central government, control of defined territory and security. The Palestinian Authority does not yet meet any of them.

Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, is more popular than Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, according to a recent Palestinian public opinion poll conducted in Gaza and the West Bank. So, who is the leader of this “strong central government”? This internal division, not considering the extremists group within Hamas itself, tragically, it’s a recipe for continued conflict, not peace! At least within themselves and after with Israel and the rest of the world.

Few kilometers stand between Gaza and the West Bank. In between live around 7 million of Israelis. The territorial issue is very far to be solved. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority does not control Gaza; Hamas does. And Hamas, states clearly in its charter, to want Israel’s destruction. Is EU recognizing the destruction of Israel? Really?

Last issue: security. A Palestinian government that cannot disarm Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups will be able to provide protection for their citizens?.

As European, I’m interested in focusing on the building of a responsible Palestinian sovereignty in an eventual state alongside Israel in a mutual recognition and respect. This should be the priority. There are no possible shortcuts but peace process.

Do we need in the Middle East another Afghanistan?

About the Author
Francesca D'Esposito is an Italian project manager working for National Research Council ( and she is in love with Israel and its people.