European recognition of the State of Palestine would strengthen the Palestinian hand in negotiations with Israel and weaken Israel’s claim to its settlements.
On Nov. 7, Federica Mogherini is embarking on a two-day visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, her first official trip abroad as the EU’s new high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. Her visit comes at a critical time, with violence now regularly flaring in East Jerusalem amid the collapse of the US-led peace process. Many Palestinians feel their political horizons receding after a series of Israeli actions have further undermined prospects for reaching a two-state solution while further stoking tensions.
In remarks made before her trip, Mogherini underlined her belief that European actions can be decisive at this key moment, but it requires the European Union to move forward. Although her comments may be dismissed by some, they come against a backdrop of increasing European frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies toward the occupied territories. In a sign of things to come, an EU spokesperson warned, “The future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on engagement toward a lasting peace based on a two-state solution."
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The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. This commentary, like all publications of the European Council on Foreign Relations, represents only the views of its authors.