Israeli Leftists Call On EU to Back PA Moves
A group of radical Israelis have called on European leaders to support the Palestinian Authority's bid for a the recognition of a PA state based on the 1967 lines when the United Nations General Assembly convenes in September.
Some 20 public figures in Israel signed the letter as Israel finds itself in a diplomatic imbroglio with US President Barack Obama about the basis for negotiations with the PA.
Among the signatories were former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, former Foriegn Ministry director general Alon Leil, former civil service commissioner Isaac Galnor, former Ambassador Ilan Baruch, Nobel laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman, former president of the Israel Academy of Sciences Menahem Yaari, and several others.
"The failure of the international community - headed by the United States - to restart political negotiations do not allow us to deny the grim reality that peace was taken hostage," the letter said. "Continued settlement construction in East Jerusalem, and resistance to freezing construction in favor of negotiations, the current Israeli leadership is using distraction to derail the peace process and achieving a solution."
The signatories argue in the letter that a United Nations declaration of PA statehood would be a "positive and constructive step for both parties."
"Israeli citizens," read another letter by the signatories, "We believe that if and when the Palestinians will declare independence in a sovereign state alongside Israel in peace and security... we will support announcement and recognize a Palestinian state whose borders are based on the 1967 lines, with agreed upon land swaps."
A unilateral declaration of PA statehood based on 1967 lines by the UN would render bilateral negotiations on borders with "agreed upon land swaps" moot.
The letter comes as secret talks between Israeli President Shimon Perez and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in London were revealed Thursday. Similar talks in Oslo in 1993, conducted behind then Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin's back by Peres and Yassir Arafat, resulted in the disastrous Oslo Accords. Israeli Presidents, who are expected to promote consensus and avoid partisan politics, fill a ceremonial role.
Some fifteen hundred Israelis have been killed in two Intifadas and numerous terror attacks since 1993.