British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s suggestion that the UK is considering recognising a state of Palestine has been dismissed as “PR” and a “masterclass in mental gymnastics” by legal experts and Palestinian advocates.
Speaking to the Conservative Middle East Council in the House of Commons on Monday night, Cameron said that the Palestinian people would have to be shown “irreversible progress” towards a two-state solution.
“We should be starting to set out what a Palestinian state would look like – what it would comprise, how it would work,” he said.
“As that happens, we – with allies – will look at the issue of recognising a Palestinian state, including at the United Nations… That could be one of the things that helps to make this process irreversible,” Cameron told the council.
According to the BBC, the foreign secretary suggested that formal, diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state could be given not as part of a final peace deal, but instead during negotiations. [Continue reading…]
Secretary of State Tony Blinken asked the State Department to conduct a review and present policy options on possible U.S. and international recognition of a Palestinian state after the war in Gaza, two U.S. officials briefed on the issue told Axios.
Why it matters: While U.S. officials say there has been no policy change, the fact the State Department is even considering such options signals a shift in thinking within the Biden administration on possible Palestinian statehood recognition, which is highly sensitive both internationally and domestically.
- For decades, U.S. policy has been to oppose the recognition of Palestine as a state both bilaterally and in UN institutions and to stress Palestinian statehood should only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Yes but: Efforts to find a diplomatic way out of the war in Gaza has opened the door for rethinking a lot of old U.S. paradigms and policies, a senior U.S. official said.
- The Biden administration is linking possible normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia to the creation of a pathway for the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of its post-war strategy. This initiative is based on the administration’s efforts prior to Oct. 7 to negotiate a mega-deal with Saudi Arabia that included a peace agreement between the kingdom and Israel.
- Saudi officials have publicly and privately made clear since Oct. 7 that any potential normalization agreement with Israel would be conditioned on the creation of an “irrevocable” pathway towards a Palestinian state.
- Some inside the Biden administration are now thinking recognition of a Palestinian state should possibly be the first step in negotiations to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of the last, the senior U.S. official said.