Jewish MP Urges Paris Against PA Statehood Vote

MP Meir Habib urges Paris to reconsider vote, noting that it violates the Oslo Accords, legitimizes PLO and Hamas as political powers.

Uzi Baruch and Tova Dvorin,

מאיר חביב
מאיר חביב

French MP Meir Habib met with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Prime Minister Manuel Wells to discuss Paris's hearing on Palestinian statehood on Friday, where he stressed that recognition of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a "country" for all intents and purposes will not lead to actual peace. 

"The proposal to recognize a Palestinian state is unproductive and irresponsible," Habib stated. "Do we want to see the day that a unilateral establishment of a Palestinian state is followed by the election of a corrupt or jihadist government? The answer is clear: No."

Habib stressed that any "Palestinian state" should be "demilitarized, as a result of negotiations to define the boundaries of the country, and [one which] recognizes Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state." 

The MP also referred to the Oslo Accords, and stressed that under the agreement signed by both parties at the time, the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be declared through unilateral action.

"Therefore, the proposal to recognize a Palestinian state contradicts the Oslo Accords," Habib said. He then addressed his fellow MPs, asking - on the other hand - how they would respond if "Israel declared that the Oslo agreements were void and unilaterally annexed Judea and Samaria."

Habib added that in light of the rise of Islamism in France, the Palestinian statehood bid would exacerbate problems domestically - problems which include the rampant anti-Semitism rising throughout the country. 

Habib also noted that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has linked itself with Hamas, concretizing it - as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) behind it - as a terror organization. 

"How can we recognize a terrorist organization as a state?" he said. "Because that's what we do if we vote in favor of this proposal."

"Last June, [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas formed a unity government with Hamas - whose principles are parallel to the principles of organizations like ISIS or Al-Qaeda," he continued. "Recognition of a Palestinian state would be to recognize terrorism as a legitimate means of political pressure - a few weeks after a French citizen was executed on camera by jihadists and just two years after the massacre in Toulouse."

"This rewards a terrorist organization that kills babies and civilians deliberately," he added. 

'Palestine': a European trend

France's vote on Palestinian statehood, while non-binding, sets a growing precedent to give the PA legitimacy - despite its pact with Hamas. 

Ahead of the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned France it would be making a "grave mistake" if it recognised Palestine as a state.

"Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheadings across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?" he told reporters in Jerusalem on November 23, referring to hiker Herve Gourdel who was executed by his jihadist captors in Algeria in September.

"Recognition of a Palestinian state by France would be a grave mistake," Netanyahu said.

Despite opposition, however, the symbolic motion is expected to pass comfortably on December 2 - when the lower house of parliament votes on the text proposed by the ruling Socialists, AFP noted last week.

Last month, Sweden became the first official EU country to recognize the "State of Palestine," prompting its ambassador to be recalled from Jerusalem in retaliation. 

However, it is unclear how binding that decision is, as Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem admitted Monday that it would not open an embassy in Ramallah following the announcement. 

"Nobody has opened an embassy in Ramallah, and we think that this can be managed by the consulate in Jerusalem, which is a satisfactory solution for us," Wallstroem told public radio.

Meanwhile, the UK's own recognition of a "Palestinian state" in a landslide vote of 274 to 12 in October has sparked uproar from local politicians and Israeli ministers alike - with Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz blaming the move specifically for an upswing in terrorism. 

The opposition has not deterred a trend of declaring the PA a "state." however, and Spain became the third nation to officially vote to recognize the PA as a country last week.