New York, NY, December 2, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned a vote by the French National Assembly which calls on the French government to recognize a state of Palestine. ADL stated that the vote “could prove harmful” to Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, and called on other European governing bodies to refrain from adopting similar unilateral resolutions.
The lower house of France’s parliament passed a non-binding motion calling on the government to “use the recognition of a Palestinian state with the aim of resolving the conflict definitively.” The motion passed by a vote of 339 in favor and 151 opposed. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated before the vote that while the French government would not be bound by the motion, France would recognize a Palestinian state without a negotiated settlement should negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians prove unsuccessful.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Contrary to the stated claims of the National Assembly’s motion, recognition of a state of Palestine by France or any other country contributes nothing positive towards resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This unfortunate vote makes France a party to discouraging President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority from engaging in serious direct negotiations with Israel which could prove harmful to peace efforts.
In the past few weeks, we have seen similar steps in Europe, including the most reckless in Sweden which unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state. These measures only serve to undermine Israel’s confidence in the European Union’s ability to play a constructive role in resolving the conflict. If the European Union is to preserve its impartiality in the peace process, other European governing bodies must refrain from adopting similar unilateral resolutions in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state.