458095886-palestinian-flag-is-on-display-outside-the-palestinian.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlargeThe European Parliament today postponed a vote on whether to recognize a Palestinian state, but the vote will likely come in mid-December. The Jerusalem Post reports that Israeli officials say such a move would be purely symbolic and not reflective of public opinion, though Israeli diplomats also lobbied hard for the postponement. The move comes after Sweden formally recognized Palestine in October, becoming just the second Western European country after Iceland to do so. All that official recognition means, really, is that it’s the official position of the Swedish government that Palestine is a country. But in a situation this politically fraught, that means a lot. “The purpose of Sweden’s recognition is to contribute to a future in which Israel and Palestine can live side by side in peace and security,” Sweden’s minister for foreign affairs explained in a press release that also touts “a five-year aid strategy including substantially increased support to Palestinian state-building.” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, for his part, said on Monday that these unilateral recognitions are a sign of “a collective [international] failure” to make progress in the peace talks. More