The Vatican To Recognise Palestinian State In New Treaty | Independent Newspapers Limited
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The Vatican To Recognise Palestinian State In New Treaty

Posted: May 14, 2015 at 10:46 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

THE Vatican announced Wednesday May 13, 2015 that it would soon sign a treaty that includes recognition of the “state of Palestine,” lending significant symbolic weight to an intensifying Palestinian push for international support for sovereignty that bypasses the paralyzed negotiations with Israel.

Palestinian leaders celebrated the Holy See’s endorsement as particularly important, given the international stature of Pope Francis.

For Israelis, it was an emotional blow, since Francis has deep relationships with Jews dating back decades, and Christians are critical backers of their enterprise.

“The Vatican is not just a state. The Vatican represents hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide, including Palestinians, and has vast moral significance,” said Husam Zomlot, a senior Palestinian foreign-affairs official.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s decision, and that the recognition would “not advance the peace process.”

That echoed similar statements after a wave of European Parliamentary resolutions on Palestinian statehood last fall, but some Israeli analysts said the Vatican’s step hurt more.

“Even this philo-Semitic pope, this pope who cares about the Jews, even he doesn’t get it,” said David Horovitz, Editor of The Times of Israel news site.

“Every time something like this happens, there’s this sense of anguish. Why don’t you understand? We want to separate from the Palestinians, but on terms that don’t threaten our security.”

The Vatican announcement came as Israel’s new, more conservative government published its official guidelines, which promised to “advance the peace process” and “make an effort to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians” but did not use the term “Palestinian state.”

While the language followed that of past coalition agreements, it caught attention because some world leaders have lately been questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to the two-state solution of the long-running conflict.

Netanyahu said on the eve of the March 17 elections that no Palestinian state would be established on his watch, then after his victory, said that he still supported the idea, but saw it as impossible under current conditions.

President Obama said then that he would “reassess” Washington’s longstanding policy of defending Israel in international forums.

On Wednesday, in an interview with the pan-Arab news outlet Asharq al-Awsat, Obama said he was looking “to the new Israeli government and the Palestinians to demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a two-state solution.”