Left-wing Israelis urge Spain to recognize Palestinian state
Over 300 Israeli public figures signed the letter calling for an independent Palestinian state (File/AFP)
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The Spanish Parliament was set to follow in the footsteps of its British counterpart by holding a vote on a resolution calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state in the coming weeks. With the vote approaching, a group of left-wing Israeli public figures is planning to send a letter lobbying support for the resolution to the parliament in Madrid.
Former Foreign Ministry director-general Dr. Alon Liel and Peace Now founder Professor Amiram Goldblum are among those behind the initiative for the letter which was published on the Atzuma website, which lobbies support for petitions.
"Following the letter of support for the British Parliament's discussion on recognition of a Palestinian state signed by hundreds of citizens, a similar letter will be sent ahead of the vote in Spanish Parliament scheduled for two weeks from now, and we are asking for your signature. Your signature will also apply to similar letters to parliaments of Israeli allies that initiate discussions of this kind," the group wrote.
The draft that will be sent to the Spanish Parliament will read: "We, the citizens of Israel who desire security and peace, are concerned with diplomatic stagnation, the continuation of the occupation and the settlement enterprise, which all lead to clashes with the Palestinians and torpedo any chance of a peace agreement. It is clear to us that the chances for Israel's existence and survival are dependent on the establishment of a Palestinian state by its side on the basis of the '67 borders, with Israeli recognition of Palestine and Palestinian recognition of Israel.
"Your initiative to recognize the state of Palestine will advance the chances for peace and will encourage Israelis and Palestinians to solve the conflict."
A similar letter was sent by several hundred left-wing activists to the British Parliament ahead of its vote on a symbolic, non-binding resolution to recognize Palestine. That resolution passed by a large margin earlier this month, 274-12.
Thus far, some 300 people have signed the letter, including well-known left-wing figures, such as former Labor MK Yael Dayan, Author Yehoshua Sobel, actor Moshe Ivgi and Gershon Baskin, a Jerusalem Post columnist who helped negotiate the deal to free captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.