Sixteen key European legislators, among them the current Chairman of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, Gabriele Albertini, have written an open letter to the United Nations. In the letter they urge the UN to reject the application for recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.
In a letter sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations and Leaders of the Members of the United Nations, the undersigned call on the international community to embrace the principles of negotiation and vote against a recognition of a unilateral Palestinian state, thereby keeping alive the chances of genuine reconciliation and just and lasting peace.
The letter, an initiative of the Brussels-based European Coalition for Israel, calls for mutual recognition, including a clear recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, in accordance with UN resolutions. It further stresses that the proposed 1949 Armistice lines (the so called 1967 lines) do not constitute legal borders under international law but simply represent Armistice lines. It notes that Hamas, which has pledged to eliminate the Jewish state and is categorized as a terrorist organisation by the EU, is now part of the Palestinian Unity Coalition which seeks UN recognition. A Palestinian state along the 1949 Armistice lines would therefore pose a clear existential threat to the state of Israel.
According to the signatories, recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian State on the basis of the 1949 Armistice Lines would “completely violate the legal rights already granted under international law to the Jewish people with respect to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria”, and ”undermine the existing framework of agreements since 1967, all of which are based on the principles of mutual recognition and negotiations.”
In conclusion the letter argues for a united Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty, stating that the city was closed to Jewish worshippers under Jordanian occupation but has been open to people of all faiths since 1967. It is essential that the city remains the open and undivided capital of the state of Israel in order to guarantee free access for all people, irrespective of religion, the letter states.
Given these concerns, the signatories call for the resumption of negotiations between the Israeli Government and the Palestinians and ask the UN members states to refrain from prematurely recognizing a Palestinian state.
The letter has been sent to the High Representative of the EU as well as the Secretary General of the UN, and will also be handed personally over to the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
In addition to the open letter several petitions of support for Israel have been circulated within the EU-member states; in Germany over 45.000 people have signed a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel expressing support for her decision to stand by Israel at this critical time in history. In many EU capitals gatherings in solidarity with Israel will be organized in the coming days, including one in Brussels.
List of signatories of Open letter
Gabriele Albertini, MEP, Chairman of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, Italy
Bastiaan Belder, MEP and Chairman of European Parliament Delegation to the Knesset, Netherlands
Magdi Cristano Allam, MEP, Italy
Luigi Campagna, Senator, Italy
Paulo Casaca, Former MEP, Portugal
Jeffrey Donaldson, MP, United Kingdom
Annelie Enochson, MP, Sweden
Sari Essayah, MEP, Finland
Lothar Klein, former MEP, Germany
Lucio Malan, Senator, Italy
Morten Messerschmidt, MEP, Denmark
Marcello Pera, Senator, Former President of the Senate, Italy
Kees van der Staaij, MP, Leader of the Reformed Christian Party, The Netherlands
Cyril Svoboda, Former Foreign Minister, Czech Republic
Hannu Takkula, MEP, Finland
Gert Weisskirchen, Former MP and OSCE Representative in the Fight against Anti-Semitism, Germany
For more information, see www.ec4i.org