Israeli leftists urge Europe to recognize Palestinian state

Prominent public figures sign open letter to European leaders calling for recognition of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 lines.

May 27, 2011 04:16
1 minute read.
Palestinian Flag

Palestinian Flag 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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About 20 prominent Israeli figures from the Left have recently signed an open letter to European leaders urging them to support the Palestinian bid for independent statehood from the United Nations in September.

Led by the Israeli left-wing group Solidarity, signatories of the letter included former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, former Foreign Ministry director-general Alon Liel, former head of the Civil Service Commission Itzhak Galnoor, and former Israeli ambassador to South Africa and the Philippines Ilan Baruch.

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Academics who penned the letter included Nobel Prize winner Professor Daniel Kahneman, former president of the Israel Academy of Sciences Menahem Yaari, Israel Prize winners Yuval Yermiahu and Avishai Margalit and authors Nir Baram, Lea Eini, and Ronit Matalon.

Given the "mutual suspicions and foot-dragging" by both the Israelis and Palestinians, declaring Palestinian independence is "not only a right, but also a positive and constructive step in favor of both nations," the signatories said.

"As Israeli citizens, we declare that if and when the Palestinian nation will declare an independent, sovereign state which will exist alongside Israel with peace and security, we will support this declaration and we will recognize a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with requested and agreed upon land swaps," they added.

In addition, the signatories said that recognition of Israel by the ruling government in the Gaza Strip would bring about mutual recognition on the part of Israel.

"We call on nations of the world to declare their willingness to recognize an independent Palestinian state based on these principles," the letter continued. "Such recognition will set the framework and parameters for appropriate negotiations on the agreement details between the two states."

In April, seventeen Israel Prize winners along with several dozen other Israeli artists and intellectuals, called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along 1967 lines in a petition signed in front of Beit Dizengoff in Tel Aviv.

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