Former BICOM chief and diplomat Danny Shek is among more than 800 prominent Israelis calling on the European Parliament to formally recognise a Palestinian state.
Shek, who also served as Israel’s ambassador to France from 2006-10, joined figures from the worlds of the arts, politics and the military in urging a ‘yes’ vote this week.
A petition – also signed by former ministers Ran Cohen and Yossi Sarid, one-time Knesset speaker Avraham Burg and former director general of Israel’s foreign ministry Alon Liel – argues that the initiative for recognition “will advance prospects for peace and will encourage Israelis and Palestinians alike to bring an end to their conflict”.
Signatories says they wish to see a safe and thriving country but are concerned about the “political stalemate, the occupation and the settlement activities that lead to further confrontations with Palestinians and quash any chances of compromise. It is clear the prospects for Israel’s security and existence depend on the existence of a Palestinian state alongside Israel”. Supporters including AB Yehoshua, Amos Oz and David Grossman call for Israel to be recognise by Palestine and Palestine to be recognised by Israel based on the ’67 borders.
After a postponement last month, MEPS are expected to vote on recognition on Wednesday. The move follows various European parliaments passing such motions in recent weeks.
Jerusalem has consistently argued that recognition before the successful conclusion of peace talks removes the Palestinians’ incentive to negotiate and moves a genuine further away.