News / Middle East

Prominent Israelis Urge Europeans to Support Palestinian Statehood Bid

Nobel Economics Laureate Kahneman takes part in panel discussion (file photo)
Nobel Economics Laureate Kahneman takes part in panel discussion (file photo)

A group of prominent Israeli figures have signed a letter urging European leaders to support a Palestinian bid for statehood recognition from the United Nations.

Israeli news organizations released contents of the letter on Friday.  It was signed by more than 20 well-known public figures, including former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, former Foreign Ministry director-general Alon Leil and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman.

The letter says a Palestinian declaration of independence would be a "positive, constructive step" given the "mutual suspicions" and "foot-dragging" by both sides.  The group also pledges to recognize a Palestinian state based primarily on border lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War - a condition opposed by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Earlier this week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed to pursue a plan to seek U.N. recognition of statehood if there is no progress in the U.S.-mediated peace talks with Israel by September.

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