Britain, France threaten to recognize Palestinian state

Thursday, May 05, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Britain and France on Wednesday played right into the hands of Israel's enemies by threatening to recognize a Palestinian Arab state on ancient Jewish lands if Israel fails to advance the peace process with the Palestinian Authority in the coming months.

That's right, both Britain and France are now saying that the stagnation of the Middle East peace process is the fault of Israel, not the Palestinian Authority that for well over a year has refused to hold direct negotiations.

When US President Barack Obama tried to get Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiating table in September of last year, Israel agreed and the Palestinians refused. At the time, Obama and his counterparts in London and Paris slammed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as the obstacle to peace.

But it is a tried and tested Palestinian strategy to just keep hanging on, making demands Israel cannot possibly meet, until the international community shifts course and starts blaming Israel.

And that's precisely what happened when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday.

The Guardian reported that Cameron directly threatened to back a Palestinian bid to unilaterally secure sovereignty over Judea and Samaria this coming September at the UN General Assembly.

That is, unless "Israel engages seriously in a meaningful peace process."

France's Nicolas Sarkozy agreed in an interview with L'Express just one day before his own meeting with Netanyahu:

"If...the peace process remains stalled in September, France will take responsibility on the central question of recognizing a Palestinian state."

Were Britain and France to join the estimated 130 other nations that plan to vote in favor of Palestinian independence at the General Assembly, it could tip the scales just enough to get the motion passed in the Security Council, as well.

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