France’s National Assembly has voted to recognise the State of Palestine. The proposal — raised by the ruling Socialist Party — was passed with 339 votes in favor and 151 against. The vote follows similar recent votes in Britain, Ireland and Spain.
Pressure is building for a diplomatic solution between Palestinians and Israelis.
In New York, the Palestinian foreign minister voiced confidence that his delegation would muster the minimum nine votes needed to win UN Security Council support for Palestinian statehood.
Security Council resolutions need nine votes from the 15-nation body to pass, but the United States has already said it will veto the measure, which would prevent its passage.
Sixty-three years ago, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was forced to leave his home in the Galilean city of Safed and flee with his family to Syria. He took up shelter in a canvas tent provided to all the arriving refugees. Though he and his family wished for decades to return to their home and homeland, they were denied that most basic of human rights. That child’s story, like that of so many other Palestinians, is mine.
This month, however, as we commemorate another year of our expulsion — which we call the nakba, or catastrophe — the Palestinian people have cause for hope: this September, at the United Nations General Assembly, we will request international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and that our state be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.
Many are questioning what value there is to such recognition while the Israeli occupation continues. Others have accused us of imperiling the peace process. We believe, however, that there is tremendous value for all Palestinians — those living in the homeland, in exile and under occupation.