The National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament, adopted today, by a vote of 339 to 151, a resolution urging the French government to recognize the state of Palestine as a step to achieve a resolution of the conflict.

“The path to sustainable, permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace is direct bilateral negotiations, and not resolutions in European parliaments,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “This action by France’s National Assembly undermines the peace process by so clearly telling the Palestinians they can skip the negotiating table with Israel, while telling Israelis that some European countries can’t be trusted as honest brokers.”

AJC has long supported efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but only through a negotiated settlement.

The French parliamentary action follows on similar non-binding moves by lawmakers in Britain (where a minority of parliamentarians participated), Ireland, and Spain. In October, Sweden became the first major Western European country to recognize “Palestine.”

“French recognition of a Palestinian state should be a consequence of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and not a condition for the resumption of such talks,” saidSimone Rodan-Benzaquen, Director of AJC’s office in Paris. “While some parliamentarians may have thought they are contributing to peace by voting for the resolution, the lack of understanding of the situation on the ground is evident in this endorsement of Palestinian unilateralism which will retard, not advance, the chances for peace.”

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