To Recognize Palestine, Not Recognizing Israeli Settlements?18 May 2016 | Conference | English | IEMed, Barcelona
Achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of a fully sovereign Palestinian state has been a long-standing EU policy objective. Of all the territorial disputes outside of Europe, it is without doubt this conflict that has most preoccupied European decisions-makers. The EU’s historical role as a political player in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking has translated into a set of policy positions that have, at times, been a precursor to those adopted by the United States years later.
Faced with the current stalemate in peace negotiations, EU member states have limited themselves to recognizing the state of Palestine bilaterally. However, while recognition may send a strong message to an increasingly annexationist Israel and the harassed Palestinian leadership, these efforts are insufficient to make progress on the ground for Palestinian sovereignty as well as for change Israel’s cost / benefit balance with respect to maintaining the status quo. Europeans should also not recognize Israeli settlements more effectively. Specifically ensuring that settlement-linked entities do not benefit from greater relations with the EU.