The European Union’s support for Palestinian statehood announced in a declaration March 26 has helped avert a potential crisis. Yasser Arafat had vowed to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state on May 4 as called for in the Oslo accords, which could have set off Israeli countermeasures such as annexing parts of the West Bank. Both moves could have produced significant unrest. The EU’s announcement gives the Palestinian leader a way to step back from his planned action without losing face.