Lisbon AM urges government to recognize State of Palestine

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The Lisbon Municipal Assembly today urged the government to recognize the State of Palestine, in the pre-1967 borders and with its capital in East Jerusalem, as determined by the resolutions adopted by the United Nations (UN).

At the proposal of the PCP, the motion for the recognition by the Portuguese Republic of the State of Palestine was approved with the votes against of PS deputy Sofia Figueiredo, PSD, IL, PPM, Aliança, CDS, Chega and non-attached deputy Margarida Penedo (who left the CDS), the abstention of five PS and MPT deputies, and the votes in favor of BE, Livre, PEV, PCP, two independent deputies from Cidadãos Por Lisboa (elected by the PS/Livre coalition), the rest of the PS bench and PAN.

Another point of the motion is for the government to “conduct its action in international relations with a view to the effective realization of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine and the fulfillment of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, as determined by UN resolutions”.

This second point was approved with the votes against of PS MP Sofia Figueiredo, PSD, Aliança, PPM, CDS, Chega and non-attached MP Margarida Penedo, the abstention of five PS MPs, IL and MPT, and the votes in favor of BE, Livre, PEV, PCP, two independent MPs from Cidadãos Por Lisboa, the rest of the PS bench and PAN.

In the context of the vote, Chega MP Bruno Mascarenhas argued that, considering the different ways in which the PS voted, the votes should be broken down without taking into account the caucus for the votes in favor, pointing out that there is a loophole in the rules on this matter.

José Inácio Faria, from the MPT, said that this calculation “is based on false assumptions”, stressing that the PS bench is fragmented, so the concept of a bench vote shouldn’t apply in this case. IL MP Rodrigo Mello Gonçalves cited the rules to say that “there is no voting by bench”.

Despite being “in total shock at the vote on this document”, PSD deputy Luís Newton said that the caucus voting procedure has always been the practice of this assembly, so “this vote cannot be called into question”.

“The PS prides itself on being a huge provider of democracy,” said socialist Miguel Teixeira, noting that each deputy has the freedom to vote and criticizing the terrible exercise of democracy by those who want to “cheat” the outcome of the vote. The president of the Lisbon Municipal Assembly, Rosário Farmhouse (PS), acknowledged that voting by bench “is not provided for” in the rules: “But it has been a practice over the years and we’re not going to change it today.”

According to the PCP motion, “the recognition of the State of Palestine is not just a symbolic gesture, but an important political decision and a moral imperative”.

“The Palestinian people have the right to self-determination, as reaffirmed in countless UN resolutions over the decades, including UN General Assembly Resolution 181, adopted in 1947, which recommended the creation of two states in the historic territory of Palestine — Israel and Palestine,” said the PCP, recalling that three European countries — Norway, Spain and Ireland — recognized the State of Palestine on May 28, adding to the more than 140 UN member countries, many of them European, that have already adopted this decision.

Against the motion, PSD MP Luís Newton said that the PCP’s proposal “does not recognize that the Gaza Strip is ruled by a terrorist group, that it does not allude to the barbaric attacks of October 7, 2023, nor does it have a word of empathy for the victims of that day”.

The ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip was triggered by an attack by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Israeli soil on October 7, 2023, which caused around 1,200 deaths and two hundred hostages, according to the Israeli authorities. Since then, Tel Aviv has launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip that has so far caused more than 37,000 deaths and more than 85,000 injuries, according to the authorities in the Palestinian enclave, controlled by Hamas since 2007.

In the 2021-2025 term, there are 13 municipal groups that make up this deliberative body of the city of Lisbon: PS (27 deputies), PSD (17), CDS-PP (six), PCP (five), BE (four), IL (three), Chega (three), PEV (two), PAN (one), Livre (one), PPM (one), MPT (one) and Aliança (one), two independent deputies from the Cidadãos por Lisboa movement (elected by the PS/Livre coalition) and one non-attached deputy (who left the CDS), for a total of 75 elected members.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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