The Greek parliament is the latest of many in Europe (including the British and French) to recognise Palestine as a state, which means Greece has now joined the efforts to give Palestine the necessary bilateral recognition that a state deserves from its peers in the global community. The Greek vote went hand-in-hand with a call for credible peace talks between Palestine and Israel to restart.
The vote was a blow to Israel, which is desperate to avoid anything that gives Palestine any extra credibility and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has campaigned vigorously against any international indication of Palestine’s statehood. For many years, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to declare Palestine a state to try and keep the peace talks on track, but after years of repeated obstruction from Israel, Abbas finally recognised that the talks were useless — thanks to Israel’s blatant contempt. Abbas then signed 15 international treaties, which Israel had the arrogance to condemn. Any move towards Palestinian statehood has nothing to do with Israel because it does not depend on Israel’s permission, but on the free will of the Palestinian people to make their own decisions about their own country.