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Can European recognition bring the Palestinian state closer?

The decision by Spain, Norway and Ireland to recognize an independent Palestinian state reflects growing exasperation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel, even among traditional friends, and suggests international pressure on him will increase.

However, it does not make it inevitable that other larger European states will follow suit. This year, President Emmanuel Macron of France said such recognition is “not taboo,” a position echoed by the French Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. In February, David Cameron, Britain’s foreign secretary, said such recognition “cannot come at the beginning of the process, nor can it come at the very end of the process.”

These were small steps, although they went further than anything they have said before, but they were nowhere near the recognition of a Palestinian state itself. If Europe were to be united, with major states joining in its recognition, and the United States remaining isolated by rejecting such a move, this could have a greater impact, but that stage is far from reached .



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