Italian deputies oppose UN recognition of Palestinian State

Italy plans to present letter to world body and US Congress rejecting the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to circumvent the peace process .

FIAMMA NIRENSTEIN 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
BERLIN – Italian deputy Fiamma Nirenstein told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that over 150 of her fellow parliamentarians signed a document rejecting the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to circumvent the peace process and convince UN member states to recognize an independent Palestinian state.
Nirenstein said the content of the Italian document is “easy to understand” because the imposition of a unilateral declaration to create a Palestinian state will “cancel all treaties and the peace process” between Israelis and the Palestinians.
The Italy-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Association helped navigate the signatories to the letter. While the text was signed by all Italian parties in Parliament, deputies Enrico Pianetta (Pdl), Fiamma Nirenstein (Pdl), Gianni Vernetti (Api) and Rossana Boldi (Lega Nord) played key roles in calling for a bilateral negotiation approach, as outlined in the document, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as opposed to “unilateralism.”
Nirenstein told the Post that the letter was organized over a three-day period last week in a rapid fire effort before the summer parliamentary break, quickly resulting in over 150 signatories of the 630 deputies in the Italian Chamber.
According to the letter, “We, members of the Italian Parliament, strongly reaffirm our commitment to a peaceful and negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the principle of two states for two peoples living side-by-side in peace and security.
“Indeed, a premature, unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood would not only undermine rather than resolve the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but would constitute a standing affront to the integrity of the United Nations, international agreements, and international law,” the letter continues.
“We believe that unilateralism will violate international legality and will harm the value of treaties among people.”
The Italian deputies note in their letter, which they intend to present to the UN and the US Congress in September, that a unilateral declaration “would undermine all accepted international frameworks for peace such as UN Security Council resolutions 242, 338, and 1850.”
A UN vote to recognize a Palestinian side outside of the bargaining process would also undercut Mideast Quartet statements rejecting the PA position. The deputies, quoting the Quartet, wrote that in February 2011 “... unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community.”
The Italian lawmakers argue in the letter that independent UN action would violate the Oslo peace agreements, citing the Oslo article that “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations.”
The role of the terrorist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, was emphasized in the Italian letter.
According to the text, “if such UN unilateral recognition were to take place while Hamas is the ongoing authority in Gaza, in partnership with Fatah, it would effectively constitute recognition of Hamas – a terrorist organization outlawed in Canada, the US, and European countries – while Hamas continues to reject the basic requirements of the international community, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist, forswearing terrorism and accepting previous international agreements.”
And whether the possible domino effect of recognizing a new state could adversely affect other geographic and political developments was also cited.
“The Palestinian Authority does not meet the traditional test for statehood – particularly the test of effective government – such that a premature and unilateral recognition of an ‘unripe’ Palestinian state could have a prejudicial effect on other regional conflicts,” reads the letter.
The legislators concluded the letter, stating “we ask that you reaffirm the commitment of Italy to a negotiated solution to the conflict and to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.
Only an immediate return to negotiations based on the principle of mutual recognition will ensure the establishment of a just and lasting peace.”
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