Belgium votes today on whether to recognize a Palestinian state and on whether to threaten Israel with sanctions

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Belgium’s Chamber of Representatives will vote today on whether to recognize a Palestinian state and on whether Israel should be threatened with economic sanctions if it unilaterally annexes parts of the West Bank, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The resolution calling for EU sanctions against Israel easily passed in committee earlier this month and is expected to pass in the plenary, the Jerusalem Post said. The call for recognition of a Palestinian state passed by one vote in the Foreign Affairs Committee and is less likely to be passed in the plenary.

The first resolution to be voted on calls for Belgium “to formally recognize the State of Palestine… and to consider this recognition as a contribution from Belgium to the solution based on the coexistence of two states.”

The second resolution calls for EU countermeasures against Israel. However, the Jerusalem Post notes, this is unlikely to be approved as the EU requires unanimity for foreign policy. The resolution, therefore, calls for building coalitions of member states “in order to provide a proportionate response to any Israeli annexation of occupied Palestinian territories.” The motion also calls for Belgium to bring resolutions to the UN Security Council, of which it is currently a member.

The resolutions were proposed by members of parliament from left-wing parties, including the French-speaking Socialist Party and the French and Flemish-speaking green parties. Israelis officials have asked right-wing and centrist Belgian MPs to oppose the motions.

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