Israel was shocked to learn on Monday that Britain is seriously considering upgrading the status of the Palestinian Authority delegation in London to that of an official diplomatic mission, putting it basically on par with the delegations of sovereign states.
The news, which was first reported by Israel’s Ynet news portal, was especially surprising considering that Britain’s current conservative government is viewed as generally pro-Israel.
Britain is not the first European country to recognize Palestinian delegations as diplomatic missions. France, Spain and Portugal have all already done so.
Israel fears that the next step for the Europeans is to officially recognize “Palestine” as an independent state outside the framework of an Israeli-Palestinian final status peace agreement. Most of South America has already gone so far as to officially recognize “Palestine.”
The Palestinian Authority is playing off this worrying trend and is threatening seek official UN recognition for a unilateral declaration of independence if Israel does not meet all its demands.
If European Union powerhouses like Britain and France recognize a Palestinian state, the Palestinians are likely to have all the backing they need in the UN, forcing the hands of both Israel and the US, which is currently still opposed to the unilateral establishment of a Palestinian state.
The situation has reached this point because the Palestinians have managed to successfully reverse reality and paint Israel as a non-compliant peace partner. With the international community so anxious to conclude a final status peace deal (even if it doesn’t lead to genuine peace), it is ready to give the Palestinians what they want, with or without Israel.