The decision to recognize the State of Palestine was announced on Wednesday May 22 by Spain, Ireland and Norway. This approach, welcomed by the Palestinians, has been ruled out for the time being by France.

Within the UN, a very large majority of countries recognize the State of Palestine. According to a decision announced this Wednesday, May 22, three countries are preparing to join this list: Ireland from today, Norway and Spain from May 28. And after France? Norway, Ireland and Spain are among the very few Western countries to recognize Palestine. The vast majority of the European Union, the United States, but also Canada and Australia, do not recognize the existence of a Palestinian state. This is the case of France. In 1988, when half of the UN countries were positioning themselves, François Mitterrand explained that this recognition posed “no problem of principle”. But as long as Israel occupied the Palestinian territories, it did not want to make any decisions.

Since then, Emmanuel Macron said on February 16: “The recognition of a Palestinian state is not a taboo for France.” “We owe it to the Palestinians, whose aspirations have been trampled for too long. We owe it to the Israelis who lived through the greatest anti-Semitic massacre of our century.” This Wednesday, May 22, Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné added that the decision had to “come at the right time so that there is a before and an after.” Paris therefore believes that the conditions are not met “to date for this decision to have a real impact”.

Hugh Lovatt, project manager for the Middle East and North Africa program of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), believes that France “wants to do this with other countries, with Arab countries, as is happening today today.” The decision of the three European countries will put “a certain pressure” on the French government “to act in the weeks or months to come”. “France is expected on this issue given its status and political weight within the European Union,” he specifies.