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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Recognizing Palestine: “Historical Moment” In Favor of Peace

by Frédéric Durand

Recognizing Palestine: “Historical Moment” In Favor of Peace

Translated Tuesday 2 December 2014, by Brooke Cochran

Frédéric Durand

Recognizing Palestine: “Historical Moment” In Favor of Peace


October 18, Paris: For the recognition of a Palestinian state. Photograph: Patrick Nussbaum

Discussions with the French National Assembly begin Friday about recognizing a Palestinian state. An opportunity to be seized, according to deputy François Asensi (Left Front or Front de gauche).

Why do you think this resolution to recognize the state of Palestine is imperative?

François Asensi: It is the first time since 1948 that France, through its Parliament, will officially ask for the recognition of a Palestinian state. It’s imperative because, in 1948, the UN decreed the creation of two states. With Ben-Gurion’s initiative, only the Israeli state was created, unfortunately; they didn’t comply with having the Palestinians manage their own state. Thus, it is a historical event and an inalienable right for the Palestinians. A right otherwise recognized by international authorities, in particular the International Court of Justice since 2004, and UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 1860 which demarcate this state in its 1967 borders and establish East Jerusalem as the capital.

You believe that this resolution could lead to resuming the peace process. Why?

François Asensi: The peace process is not only blocked but also sinking quickly under the Israeli leaders’ responsibility. Since Oslo in 1993, you don’t see a real desire at any given moment for a negotiation that would allow the creation of a Palestinian state. This recognition would not only make it possible to bring justice to the Palestinian people, but even more importantly, it would be a condition for the Israelis’ safety. Israel needs a state beside it with clearly established borders. The Israelis themselves would be guaranteed that their own borders be recognized in return, including by the Arab communities in the region. As several hundred Israeli intellectuals relentlessly explain, there will be no lasting peace without justice.

If this resolution obtains a majority in the French National Assembly next Tuesday, what do you expect then?

François Asensi: We cannot take half-measures that would aim at putting off this recognition once again. We expect the government to immediately recognize the Palestinian state, based on a vote by national representation, meaning by the people. Moreover, this would be logical, given France’s history of international culture.

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