Seemingly at the ninth hour, the European Parliament decided Tuesday to postpone its vote on whether to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign nation.
The gathering in Strasbourg decided to reconsider the issue at the European Parliament’s plenary session from December 15-18, rather than this Thursday.
Intensive work by Israeli diplomats in Brussels combined with opposition from Germany and a few other members were partly responsible for the decision.
Disagreement regarding the language of the resolution was also a factor in putting off the vote to a later time.
Similar votes are expected shortly in Portugal, Italy and Slovenia. Israeli officials have accused administration officials in the offices of U.S. President Barack Obama of fanning the flames against Israel across Europe.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that such recognition would be a “big mistake” at a joint news conference with visiting Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
“These twin needs of mutual recognition and solid security arrangements on the ground, which are so essential for peace, these are not addressed by the European countries that unilaterally give recognition to a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said.
A similar resolution has already won approval in Britain, Spain, Ireland and Sweden.
The issue was to come before French lawmakers on Tuesday as well, but there ‘Palestine’ was expected to face a fight.
Israeli representatives in Paris have been working to mobilize the opposition against passage of any resolution approving recognition of the PA as a bona fide state.
Netanyahu had expressed deep concern on Sunday that France would make a “grave mistake” in helping the PA evade its legal responsibilities as delineated under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords to negotiate its final status with Israel.
“Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheading across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?” he said.
“The State of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, the only state that we have, and the Palestinians demanding a state do not want to recognize the right to have a state for the Jewish people,” Netanyahu pointed out.