Parisians gather at Place de la Republique to support Gaza.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A move is afoot in France to compel the government to officially recognize a Palestinian state.
According to AFP, left-wing lawmakers in parliament are readying to submit a motion calling on the government to extend recognition.
Last month, the British parliament held a symbolic vote that recognized a Palestinian state. The Swedish government became the first EU actor to recognize Palestine.
Last month, a French lawmaker said Paris is making a grave mistake in saying it will recognize a Palestinian state if peace talks fail.
“Europe and France specifically refuse to recognize the reality, and think that if they recognize a Palestinian state, the conflict will end," Meir Habib said. "When will they wake up? The free world must unite and realize that recognizing a Palestinian state without negotiations at this time is a grave mistake that will be costly for Europe.”
Habib’s comments came a day after Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris would recognize a Palestinian state if negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel fail.
The National Assembly deputy said that Israel has been trying to reach peace agreements since the state was founded and is willing to make painful concessions for peace, while the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
“France is refusing to open its eyes and is once again acting out of weakness,” Habib said.
“Instead of fighting jihadists and sending a strong message to terrorists, [France] is blaming the only country that is truly fighting terrorism.
“Last summer, Israel fought against Hamas, a terrorist organization that shot at innocent civilians,” he continued.
“Despite this, we did not hear any official statements from European countries calling to demilitarize the Gaza Strip.”
Habib called for Europe to wake up and realize the Israeli-Arab conflict is not about territory, it is a religious war that includes the whole world, in particular Europe. Hundreds of French citizens went to fight in Syria, he pointed out.
“Unfortunately, more and more French Muslims identify with Islamic extremism,” he said.
Habib, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is a member of the National Assembly who lives in Israel and France and holds the parliamentary seat representing French citizens living abroad.