Europe starts process of recognizing Palestine

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Ireland on Tuesday decided to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority diplomatic delegation in Dublin, starting what many in Israel fear will be a domino effect leading to the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian Arab state.

Irish officials stressed that the PA delegation was not being upgraded to a full embassy, but rather a diplomatic mission, and that Dublin was not recognizing “Palestine” as an independent state.

Still, the move does mean that the head of the PA delegation will now be referred to as “ambassador” and will present credentials to the Irish president just like a real ambassador. So while Ireland is playing a game of semantics, the reality “on the ground” is that the Palestinian Authority will be represented as an independent national entity in Europe.

Israeli officials were furious.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned that these de facto recognitions of a Palestinian state were putting bilateral peace further out of reach, and were actually advancing another onset of violence.

“Unilateral steps are creating a bubble of expectation for the Palestinians. We can see an obvious connection to the recent spate of recognition and a hardening of the Palestinian position,” said Ayalon. “We all know that bubbles eventually burst and it is negligent to contribute to this unsustainable policy.”

Ayalon was referring to the new trend in Latin America to recognize a Palestinian state in all of Judea and Samaria. Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Peru all have done so over the past few months.

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