As Israel turns 70 it’s high time we Jews ditched Zionism for the sake of everyone

Virginia Tilley: Does the U.S. Support an Apartheid State?


Palestine celebrates UN vote recognition

Published on Nov 29, 2012

The United Nations last night recognised a sovereign state of Palestine for the first time, sparking jubilation in the General Assembly and celebrations long into the night in Jerusalem.

The UN overwhelmingly ignored dire warnings from the United States and Israel that the decision would wreck peace talks and lead to the severance of badly needed aid funding.

An historic resolution that enhanced the Palestinians’ position at the UN from “permanent observer” to “non-member observer state”, a status also held by the Vatican, passed the General Assembly by a resounding 138 votes to 9, with 41 countries abstaining, including Britain. Five nations did not register a vote. The no votes were US, Israel, Canada, Czech Republic, Palau, Panama, Nauru, Mirconesia and Marshall Islands.




Nigel Farage; Furious over Palestinian State Recognition European Parliament Vote

Published on Dec 24, 2014

Nigel Farage ; Furious over Palestinian State Recognition European Parliament Vote
The European Parliament has passed a motion on the recognition of Palestinian statehood. As expected, its content was quite contested among parliamentarians. But for the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP), it was not so much the motion’s text that caused controversy but rather the fact that it was tabled at all.

UKIP MEP James Carver called into question the legitimacy of such a vote. Nigel Farage went on to support his colleague arguing that it is “irrelevant what any of us think” on Israel and Palestine and that the motion should indeed be inadmissible as the European Commission does not have the power to recognize states.

What powers does the EU have?

Mr. Carver based his argument on the answer to a written question he had previously sent to the Commission regarding the recognition of Somaliland. The former British colony that is now a territory within Somalia declared independence in 1991 but has not yet been recognized by any state. Within its answer to Mr. Carver, the Commission pointed out that the EU does not have the power to recognize states as this authority remains in the hands of its member states. And while Article 47 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) enables the EU to conclude international agreements and to join international organisations, member states have indeed not given up on various other powers, including the recognition of states.

Accordingly, Mr. Carver and Mr. Farage are quite correct in asserting that neither the European Parliament not the European Commission can recognize Palestinian statehood. However, this is not what the motion actually says. It merely “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood,” explicitly acknowledges that “the recognition of the State of Palestine falls in the competence of the Member States,” and “calls on the HR/VP to facilitate a common EU position.”

The European Parliament’s legislative powers in external affairs are rather limited. Nonetheless, it quite regularly passes non-binding motions in order to put pressure on the member states or increase the prominence of certain issues. This practice is quite common among parliaments worldwide and recently various European ones have passed similar non-binding motions recommending their respective governments’ recognition of Palestinian statehood. This includes the British House of Commons, whose motion is not going to change the incumbent government’s position though.

Our verdict

The claim that the European Parliament cannot vote on unbinding motions making foreign policy recommendations to the member states is an insane whopper. But there is also good news for Mr. Carver: He might use the same mean in his advocacy for the recognition of Somaliland and table a non-binding motion himself. Whether such a motion would receive much support within the European Parliament and even within his own party is questionable though. At least Mr. Farage seems be slightly less enthusiastic about the territory’s independence: In his intervention he still refers to the former colony as “British Somaliland.”

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