Spain Recognizes Palestinian State?

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced Monday his government would recognize a Palestinian state by July. While Sánchez suggested something like this last month, this is the first time he has given such a definite, and short, timetable. He also indicated this might happen with or without formal backing of the legislature.

Contrary to Israel’s wishes, most countries recognize a Palestinian state. The main ones that do not are the United States and most of the European Union. This includes the EU’s largest economies: Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Monday’s announcement indicates this could change.

Spain will probably not be the last European country to change its tune. The leaders of Ireland and Slovenia last month joined Sánchez in a meeting calling for a Palestinian state. According to Spanish state media efe, Sánchez is “convinced there is a critical mass in Europe that will make a few EU partners take this decision.”

Israel’s war in Gaza may seem a setback for Palestinian statehood. But Europe reversing its diplomatic course could be a game changer. Expect Europe to get more involved in Palestinian affairs—and for the Palestinians to welcome Europe with open arms.