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EU Joins PA’s Diplomatic War on Jerusalem

A proposal by the EU to declare eastern Jerusalem the PA capital will backfire and hurt peace, Israel warns. A Likud MK blames the government.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/1/2009, 11:46 AM / Last Update: 12/1/2009, 12:02 PM

Yoav Finkel

The Foreign Ministry warned Tuesday morning that a Swedish-led attempt to have the European Union recognize eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian Authority will backfire.

The draft proposal, expected to be placed on the EU table next week, would damage efforts to reach peace with the PA and damage the EU’s standing as a trusted entity, ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said. “The Europeans must pressure the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table," he added. "Such moves like the one being led by Sweden lead to the opposite outcome."

The Swedish proposal also omits any recognition of the rest of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Government officials estimate that several EU members will oppose the proposal by Sweden, which retains the rotating presidency of the European body until next month.

Likud Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely blamed her own government for the EU move, saying, “This is more proof that the erosion of legitimacy for residents of Judea and Samaria is the direct cause for the erosion of the status of Jerusalem.”

The draft proposal of the EU will include its readiness to recognize the PA as a “democratic” and independent entity if PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas carries out his plan to unilaterally declare statehood. Abbas has asked the United Nations to recognize the PA as an independent state based on the 1949-1967 borders of Israel, a move which in effect destroys the Roadmap plan and American efforts for a negotiated agreement with Israel.