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Home > English > NEWS AND ANALYSIS > German Left Party Asks Government to Recognize Palestinian State

German Left Party Asks Government to Recognize Palestinian State

Saturday 25 June 2011, by Dr. Gregor Gysi and parliamentary group

Die Linke, a German progressive political party, intends to ask the German government to recognize a Palestinian state. This motion was sent to activists from Israel in partial response to the latter’s letter protesting Die Linke’s equation of anti-Semitism with support for BDS or a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Motion of Die Linke

Tabled by Members of the Bundestag Wolfgang Gehrcke, Dr Gregor Gysi, Jan van Aken, Christine Buchholz, Sevim Dağdelen, Dr Diether Dehm, Dr Dagmar Enkelmann, Annette Groth, Heike Hänsel, Inge Höger, Andrej Hunko, Harald Koch, Stefan Liebich, Niema Movassat, Thomas Nord, Paul Schäfer, Alexander Ulrich, Kathrin Vogler, Katrin Werner and the Left Party parliamentary group

Recognising the State of Palestine

The Bundestag is requested to adopt the following motion:

I. The German Bundestag notes:

The democratic movements challenging dictatorship in many Arab countries are of historic significance. After decades of oppression they are insisting on the principles of the rule of law and democracy, respect for human rights and a life of dignity. For them, the legitimacy of those who govern is from now on contingent on the sovereignty of the people. Democracy will succeed and endure, however, only if peace and social justice prevail. Europe and Germany can support and encourage the process of social and political change through a policy based on solidarity.

The upheavals occurring in many countries of North Africa and the Middle East can promote the resolution of the Middle East conflict through international solidarity.

The people in Palestine continue to be denied the right to national independence.

Israeli government policy is encouraging the settlement policy in the West Bank in contravention of international law and is hampering the necessary partition of Jerusalem. Despite the attitude of the Israeli government, accord between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip could help to resolve the Middle East conflict.

The Federal Government, like the governments of other EU Member States, has no doubt that peace between the two peoples is contingent on the two-state solution. Over 100 countries now support the recognition of a Palestinian state. This support for the two-state solution must now be followed by political decisions.

There is a danger that the longer it takes to reach a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the more audible will become those Arab voices demanding a radical change of course vis-à-vis the state of Israel. Israel cannot overcome its partial isolation in the region either by exerting its military superiority or by employing political delaying tactics. Lasting peace and justice for Israel and Palestine are contingent on a two-state solution.

II. The German Bundestag calls on the Federal Government:

In order to make possible a life of peace, political autonomy, national security and economic prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians, the Federal Government is called on

• to support in the UN Security Council and in the UN General Assembly the proclamation of the State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders and to press for its accession to the UN;

• to direct the Federal President to issue a note recognizing the State of Palestine;

• to upgrade the diplomatic status of the Palestinian General Delegation in Berlin and the German Representation in Ramallah, as the governments of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Norway and others have done;

• to follow the policy position of the European Union of December 2009 and the recommendations of the European Former Leader Group and recognize East Jerusalem as part of the Palestinian state;

• to insist vis-à-vis the Government of the State of Israel, in reference to the EU Statement of 22 February 2011, that the illegal settlement must be ended in compliance with international law and that the Palestinian territories must no longer be regarded as part of domestic policy. Hamas is called on to recognize the State of Israel. The obligation on the part of Palestinians to renounce violence demands a similar renunciation of violence on the part of Israel;

• to press for a long-term understanding between the leaderships in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the prospect of free elections and observance of internationally recognized rule-of-law principles. The Cairo Agreement of 4 May 2011 is based on a weighing up of regional Arab and international developments and at the same time takes into account the calls of the Palestinian people for an end to political and personal rivalries;

• to pay increased attention to the dramatic escalation of tensions in Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. The EU Statement of 22 February 2011 makes reference to the threat to democracy, peace and human rights in Israel. The quality of relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel is also key to the prospects of a peaceful future for the Israeli and Palestinian people;

• to call emphatically for all parties in this conflict to renounce all violence in the pursuit of political objectives;

• to urge that with the founding of the State of Palestine, Israel and Palestine recognize each other and start negotiations to establish mutually advantageous relations.

In the coming months, the Middle East policy of the Federal Government must be committed to helping bring new dynamism to the process of bilateral negotiations between the PLO and Israel. The establishment of equal rights for the people of Israel and Palestine will help to marginalize radical forces throughout the region. To take an active part in helping establish peace between Israelis and Palestinians is not to demonstrate favour to one side or the other; rather it is in the interest of world peace, in the interest of all the countries of North Africa and the Middle East and in the interest of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Berlin, 17 June 2011