In a move which has upset the United States and Israel, Sweden officially recognized and accepted the Palestinian State. In reaction to Sweden’s declaration, the Israeli ambassador to the Scandinavian Country was ordered to come home. Palestinian officials said that they hoped this ‘courageous’ move would influence other European Nations to follow their lead.
Previously two other members of the EU, Malta and Cyprus, gave full recognition to the Palestinian State. In November, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly gave their approval for Palestine.
For decades the United States has attempted to end the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margo Wallstrom, says she hopes the move by her country will instill a new energy into negotiations.
The action was also an action promised by the Prime Minister after winning the election by the Social Democratic Party.
When peace talks hosted by the United States broke off in April, some American officials hinted that the underlying reason was Israel’s hard stance on several issues. The Palestinian representatives claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was never serious about the negotiations.
What did the U.N. vote mean? Nothing major was accomplished, and a Palestinian State is not official. However, statements given by representatives from several nations indicated that ‘when the time was right,’ their countries would officially recognize Palestine.
What does the declaration by Sweden indicate? The answer is uncertain. Will other major European nations reconsider their reluctance to make their acceptance of Palestine official? Or will the vast majority follow the wished of the United States and Israel and remain uncommitted. In the upcoming weeks, if there is even a slight movement from other European nations, the world may witness a move away from their unwavering support for Israel.
Israel declared itself to be a State in 1948. By the end of that year 20 countries recognized Israel, including the Soviet Union and the United States. By the end of 1949 all but 25 nations recognized the new country; those 25 have not recognized Israel’s right to exist to this day.
How quickly will the nations of the world move towards recognition of a Palestinian State? Some things take a lot of time. Have the Palestinians waited long enough?
By James Turnage