On Friday 29th January, France issued an ultimatum to Israel, saying it will recognise a Palestinian state if a renewed push for a two-state solution fails. The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, announced that France will convene an international peace summit to renew diplomatic efforts by Israel and the Palestinians and has threatened that if diplomacy failed, France would formally recognise a Palestinian State.
In an unusually strict stance against Israeli colonisation and illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, this move comes as a result of France’s frustration at having made a string of failed efforts to renew diplomatic efforts between Israel and the Palestinian Authority for a two state solution. This is also a part of a bigger wave of unusually stern criticism of Israel by the European Union and United Nations in recent months that appears to be gathering momentum.
Such a wave of stern criticism and small steps such as the labelling of Israeli settlement products in the EU, Greek parliamentary recognition of a Palestinian State and BDS successes, breathe optimism and are encouraging to observe. An ultimatum from France if followed through appears to hold only a positive outcome for the Palestinians. The fundamental requirement for any agreement by the Palestinians is the full cessation of Israeli settlement activities. This means that it's likely that Israel will reject the peace talks and France will have to act on their word to recognise Palestine officially.
Netanyahu is particularly irked that this move from France as a major player in the EU has given the Palestinians an incentive not to compromise. In addition, increase of recent criticism towards Israel has raised Palestinian hopes that world powers might finally be minded to support a UN resolution condemning Israeli’s illegal settlement expansion policy outright. It appears that this decision does carry some weight behind it and Israel now would be particularly concerned that other European countries will follow suit to press Israel on ending its illegal settlement expansion and possibly officially recognising Palestine as a state.
On 23 November 2019, EuroPal Forum and Middle East Monitor co-hosted a conference at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London on the relations between Europe and Palestine. A first of its kind, the conference brought together individuals at the forefront of discourse on Palestine in
As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules that European Union countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, MEMO and EuroPal Forum are hosting a conference to discuss the EU’s position on major issues related to the occupat