Sweden Will Recognize Palestine

Sweden is set to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

Sweden is set to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

Reuters (“Sweden to recognise state of Palestine“):

Sweden’s new center-left government will recognise the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the step, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday.

The U.N. General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in 2012 but the European Union and most EU countries, have yet to give official recognition.

“The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law,” Lofven said during his inaugural address in parliament.

“A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognise the state of Palestine.”

This is a reasonable and, indeed, long-overdue step. The UN declaration makes this theoretically international law, but it’s had no force until now. Others may be more likely to follow suit now that Sweden has taken the burden of going first.

One wonders whether Sweden’s incoming leadership has really thought this through, though. Theoretically, a Palestinian state would be held to a much higher standard than the quasi-sovereign Palestinian Authority is now. They’d be expected to stop terrorist attacks on Israel coming from within its borders. Likewise, an Israeli military incursion into a sovereign Palestine is legally different than one into a mere territory. Is Sweden prepared to take action?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    One wonders whether Sweden’s incoming leadership has really thought this through, though. Theoretically, a Palestinian state would be held to a much higher standard than the quasi-sovereign Palestinian Authority is now. They’d be expected to stop terrorist attacks on Israel coming from within its borders. Likewise, an Israeli military incursion into a sovereign Palestine is legally different than one into a mere territory. Is Sweden prepared to take action?

    With the recognition of an as yet non-existent Palestinian state, I believe that the Swedes are hoping that other Western nations will join the effort to see this through to the establishment of an ACTUAL independent Palestinian state.

  2. SenyorDave says:

    I assume that Sweden is doing his as a tacit admission that no matter what you think about the Palestinian leadership and their positions on a two-state solution, it is obvious that Netanyahu-led Israel will not engage in any meaningful peace talks. Netanyahu wants peace so long as Israel does not compromise on anything.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Netanyahu wants peace so long as Israel does not compromise on anything.

    Especially not the defacto state of war with Hamas.

  4. SKI says:

    Couple of things:

    1. My understanding is that Sweden backtracked a bit and said that while they were willing to, not yet.

    2. More importantly, which government would be recognized as the government of Palestine? The West Bank PA or the Gaza Hamas?

    My take: Someone didn’t think this out before making this announcement.

  5. bill says:

    read it as- “please don’t kill us for making cartoons of your religious patriarch”. pacifists….