Prominent Israeli Figures Urge Europe to Recognize Palestinian State

Leftist group Solidarity sends letter to EU leaders signed by former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, Nobel Laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman and more, saying 'peace process has reached its end.'

More than a dozen Israeli intellectuals and public figures have signed a letter urging European leaders to officially recognize a Palestinian State, as "the peace process has reached its end."

The letter, which will be sent to the leaders on Friday, was initiated by the leftist Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, the group which also organizes the weekly demonstrations in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Palestinians in Jordan protest May 13, 2011 (Reuters)

"Peace has fallen hostage to the peace process," the letter said. "As Israeli citizens, we announce that if and when the Palestinian people declare independence of a sovereign state that will exist next to Israel in peace and security, we will support such the announcement of the Palestinian State with borders based on the 1967 lines, with needed land swaps on a 1:1 basis."

"We urge the countries of the world to declare their willingness to recognize a sovereign Palestinian State according to these principles," the letter added.

In a statement on the Solidarity website, the group wrote that "the Palestinian appeal to the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian State does not harm the Israeli interest and is not at odds with the peace process."

"Netanyahu's speech in Washington and the sweeping support he received from the U.S. Congress shows that the peace process has reached its end," the statement added, stressing that Israel now has a choice between recognizing a Palestinian State or a renewed wave of violence.

The letter was signed by former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, former Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Liel, and former Ambassador to South Africa Ilan Baruch.
Among the intellectual signatories are Nobel laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman, and Israel Prize Winner Professor Avishai Margalit.