To the attention of the members of the European Parliament – Statement on Palestine

On behalf of Another Jewish Voice (www.eajs.be), we are writing about the draft resolution for recognition of the new Palestinian State that will be put to a vote at the EU on December 15th 2014. We urge you to use your influence to frame a clear, positive text for immediately recognizing the Palestinian State alongside the State of Israel.

We believe that the Palestinians have a right to self-determination, as established in 1947 (resolution 181) just as Israel has had this right since 1948. Palestine has all the attributes of a state, with functioning institutions worthy of a state. Israel occupation of Palestinian territories and the lack of worldwide legal and official recognition is preventing the full exercise of Palestinian sovereignty. Ending the occupation would secure Israel’s own long-term future as a democracy, will give the Palestinian the opportunity to live in property and safety and may be the change the entire region needs desperately.

Israel has objected to Palestine being recognized as a state, supposedly because this should be an outcome of negotiations. One of the reasons these negotiations have never succeeded is because there has never been an equal and mutual recognition of both partners. This can now change. Palestinian statehood is not a substitute for negotiations with Israel. Rather it will put the negotiations on a fairer basis by reducing the extreme imbalance of power that has characterized them thus far.

The European Parliament has already accepted Palestine’s right to statehood by virtue of supporting the two-state solution. It should now go the whole way and vote to recognize the new state. On November 29, 2012, the UN General Assembly approved the upgrading of Palestine to the status of a non-member observer state, with the support of 138 member states. The European Union should now join them. A positive vote in the European Parliament will hasten that day.