Former European leaders call on EU to up pressure on Israel

Letter sent to EU foreign policy chief urges labeling of settlement products, refers to Netanayahu as an obstacle to peace

A group of former high-ranking European officials is set to send EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini a joint letter Wednesday calling on the union to adopt a proactive and more aggressive attitude to pressure Israel on the Palestinian issue.

The letter, which was obtained by the news site Ynet, is addressed to Mogherini and the foreign ministers of EU countries, with copies to US Secretary of State John Kerry, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

Titled “A new approach to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the letter addresses the apparent political shift rightward in Israel, directly referring to the reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March and his establishment of a right-wing coalition with a razor-thin majority.

“We have for some time regarded the Oslo-Madrid process as effectively defunct. The opportunities it presented through its focus on the center ground in the substance for a settlement were suffocated by mutual distrust, by Palestinian disunity and by Israel’s lack of interest in an outcome of this kind, as evidenced by large-scale settlement expansion,” the letter reads.

Ynet reported that the signatories to the letter proposed that the EU treat Israel and Palestine as two political entities. The EU, the letter says, should allot a certain amount of time for negotiations at the end of which the outcome must be a two-state solution.

Full article: Former European leaders call on EU to up pressure on Israel (The Times of Israel)

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