Recognition of Palestine: Two Parliamentary Motions Approved

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 383th MEETING, 27 FEBRUARY 2015.

On 27 February 2015, the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament was called upon to vote seven motions concerning initiatives for the recognition of the Palestinian State. Five of them were rejected (Motions nos. 1-00675, 1-00625, 1-00699, 1-00738 and 1-00747). Two were approved, but they do not seem to be fully consistent with each other. A full translation of the text of both motions is given hereunder.

Text of Motion 1-00745 presented by MPs Speranza, Locatelli, Marazziti, Bruno Bossio and Tidei:

The Chamber of Deputies, provided that:

the right of the Palestinian people to have their own State within recognised and internationally guaranteed boundaries and to peacefully coexist with the State of Israel, thus ensuring conditions of security and stability for both of them, has long been a well-established Italian and European position;

there is a widely shared belief at the international level that the actual achievement of this result may be brought about only through negotiations: on the mutual recognition of borders –starting from those of 1967 and including possible territorial exchanges between the parties –on a solution for the status of Jerusalem, and on the question of the right of return for Palestinian refugees;

at the international level, there is also a widely shared belief that this result cannot be pursued through the use of violence and terrorism, recalling in this regard the importance of respecting the three principles of the so-called quartet (USA, Russia, UN and European Union), which requires, among other things, the right of the two peoples to live free from all violence and terrorist acts;

worrying and deplorable is the stalemate of the negotiation process that risks fueling violence and creating the conditions for bloody and tragic conflicts;

as also confirmed by the resolution of the European Parliament – approved on 17 December 2014 by an overwhelming majority – it is necessary to avoid all actions that put into question the commitments taken in favour of a negotiated solution by inviting both parties to refrain from any action that might compromise the feasibility of, and prospects for, a solution based on the coexistence of two States, and by highlighting, among other things, that the expansion of the settlements is illegal, including from the point of view of international law; and that it is also necessary to promote the achievement of an agreement between all Palestinian political forces, that through the recognition of the State of Israel and the abandonment of violence, may determine the conditions for a peaceful coexistence;

Currently, the very high tension in the area, with a civil war going on in Syria, the alarming establishment of the self-styled Islamic State in an area between Iraq and, again, Syria, and the final phases of the nuclear talks with Iran, call for a greater political and diplomatic investment in the solution of the conflict, including through the greatest possible unity of intents between Europe and the United States;

like other countries, Italy has already taken some important steps towards the recognition of Palestinian prerogatives, for instance through the vote in favour of the recognition of the status of Palestine as a “UN non-member observer State”, the attribution of full diplomatic status to the Palestinian representation in Italy, the continuing political support to Palestinian demands to become members of various international organisations;

Italy has repeatedly expressed its availability to formally recognise, at the right time and in the appropriate conditions, a Palestinian State alongside the State of Israel, peacefully coexisting;

the role of our country is already significant and it will be even more so in the future – also by working at the European and international levels – for development cooperation, for supporting stronger Palestinian institutions, as well as for strengthening cooperation and understanding in the wider Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern framework, on peace, security and human, social and economic development;

the international community must guarantee, in particular in Europe, the uncompromised opposition to any resurgence of violence and intolerance towards Jewish citizens and communities, who have already experienced, in the course of history, persecution and, in our Continent, real genocide. The recent episodes of anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia call for a strong restatement that Judaism is an integral part of the European identity, and that Europe is also the home of Jews,

pledges the Government:

to continue to support in every forum the goal of establishing a Palestinian State living in peace, security and prosperity side by side the State of Israel, on the basis of mutual recognition and the full undertaking of a reciprocal commitment to ensure citizens to live a secure life, safe from all violence and acts of terrorism;

to promote the recognition of Palestine as a democratic and sovereign State within the 1967 borders and with Jerusalem as a shared capital, taking fully into account the concerns and the legitimate interests of Israel;

to seek, to that end, coordinated action at the international level, and in particular in the framework of the European Union and the United Nations, with a view to finding a global and lasting solution for the peace process in the Middle-East, based on the existence of two States, Palestinian and Israeli;

to take steps to support and promote the revival of the peace process by means of direct negotiations between the parties.

Text of Motion 1-00746 presented by MPs Alli, Rabino, De Girolamo, Mazziotti Di Celso, Cicchitto, Dorina Bianchi, Pizzolante, Scopelliti, Causin and Sammarco:

The Chamber of Deputies, provided that:

a comprehensive strategy is necessary to lead to a new situation in the Middle East, where there are conflicts partly-unrelated to each other, like those erupted in Iraq and Syria, determined by the breakdown of both these States and the consequent affirmation of ISIS; the Lybian conflict that developed following the killing of Gaddafi before a new political balance could be achieved; the complex problems caused by the tragedy of a large number of immigrants oppressing countries like Jordan and Lebanon; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

in this framework, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is currently under an armistice, which however does not rule out the risk of a resumption of hostilities and which still does not provide a stable and positive solution for this situation;

the dramatic humanitarian, political and social consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are a source of alarm and concern. The need for peace is made even more inevitable by the advance of Islamic fundamentalism, which operates particularly gruesome forms of terrorism in Syria and Iraq, and aims at exporting it to many other countries, simultaneously affecting the rest of the Islamic world, the Jews, Christians, and those who believe in other religions;

it is desirable that the international community, facing the stalled negotiations, gives its own contribution in the form of a constructive mediation between the parties, rather than by unilateral decisions that could possibly determine counterproductive outcomes;

the “two peoples, two States” formula remains fully valid and is based on the parallel need to ensure the complete realisation of the Palestinian State and the security of Israel;

it is a strategic interest of both Italy and Europe to contribute to the pacification of the Middle East, in view of the stabilisation of the Mediterranean region and an intensification of the cooperation with the coastal States;

the State of Israel, even amid contradictions and errors, represents an outpost of real democracy in the Middle East; it is characterised by deep pluralism of ideas and stances, plays a very important role in the fight against any form of terrorism and is the expression of a history of Judaism that must be respected and protected against all forms of anti-Semitism. It is necessary that the State of Israel abstains from establishing new settlements;

the establishment of a Palestinian State is a worthy objective, also with a view to positively solving a long series of political conflicts and sufferings. Its actual accomplishment, however, requires an agreement between the two parties. Equally, necessary for a recognition of the Palestinian State is the achievement of a real political understanding between Al-Fatah and Hamas, one that entails the recognition of the State of Israel and the relinquishment of violence as a means of resolving the conflict; “recognise to be recognised” is an inescapable equation;

a fair peace process goes through the free and genuine sharing of responsibilities between the parties, favoured in every way by the European Union, the USA and Italy;

in this dramatic context the awareness demonstrated by the moderate Arab countries, from Egypt to Tunisia, from Jordan to Morocco, from Algeria to the United Arab Emirates, is worth of praise. They are playing an essential role in contrasting the fundamentalist movements and pointing towards pacification. It is hoped that in the future the same role is played by other major States, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and that reformist trends will prevail in Iran,

pledges the Government:

to support both bilaterally and multilaterally in concert with European partners, the timely resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, as the highroad for the realisation of the Oslo Accords;

to promote the achievement of a political understanding between Al-Fatah and Hamas, which, through the recognition of the State of Israel and the relinquishment of violence, creates the conditions for the recognition of a Palestinian State;

to promote within the European Union more resolute action on the Middle Eastern crisis, by restoring the special envoy for the peace process and, especially, by reminding to both parties the advantages of a special partnership with the Union, once the conflict will be over.

The original text of the two motions, in Italian, can be downloaded here. The verbatim records, also in Italian, of the parliamentary debate on the voting of the motions can be found here. Finally, the voting records of all seven motions can be found here.

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