A Palestinian boy waves a flag in the West Bank.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Some 363 Israeli left-wing public figures including former Knesset members called on the British Parliament to recognize the state of Palestine when it debates the matter in London on Monday.
They signed a letter which stated: ”We, Israelis who worry and care for the well-being of the state of Israel, believe that the long-term existence and security of Israel depends on the long-term existence and security of a Palestinian state.”
The document continued, “For this reason we, the undersigned, urge members of the UK Parliament to vote in favor of the motion to be debated on Monday 13th October 2014, calling on the British Government to recognize the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.”
The letter was initiated by former Foreign Ministry director-general Alon Liel, Peace Now founder Amiram Goldblum and “Breaking the Silence” founder Yehuda Shaul.
Among its signatories are veteran left wing activist Uri Avnery, former Meretz ministers Ran Cohen and Yossi Sarid as well as former MKs Yael Dayan of Labor and Mossi Raz and Naomi Chazan of Meretz.
Other personalities who signed the document are: Gen. (ret.) Emanuel Shaked of the Paratrooper Corps and former Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair as well as four authors, Yehoshua Sobol, Yehudit Kafri, Savyon Liebrecht and Amos Mokadi.
The British Parliament debate in the House of Commons comes less then two weeks after Sweden announced it would recognize the state of Palestine.
Some 138 nations recognize Palestine as a state, but very few of them are from Europe. The European Union calls for a Palestinian state that is created through a negotiated two-state solution. Three EU countries - Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - recognized Palestine before they joined the 28-member bloc.
Sweden will be the only European country to decide to recognize Palestine while it is a member of the EU.
In spite of the British Parliamentary debate, the United Kingdom is not expected at this time to formally recognize Palestine outside the context of a two-state solution.