A group of prominent figures from Europe and across the globe have called on the European Union to re-evaluate a recent European Commission directive pulling financing from Israeli enterprises in the "occupied territories."
Among those who signed the letter, which stated that reversing that decision would make a positive impact on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, were former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, former Uruguay President Luis Alberto Lacalle and Lord William David Trimble, who was the first U.K. first minister from Northern Ireland and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.
"By treating Israel differently than most other states, this policy only reinforces the impression among Israelis that Europe is basically unfriendly to Israel and cannot be relied upon as it once was," the authors wrote.
They pointed out that Israel is the only nation where the EU has directed policy delineating borders. They said the EU continues to cooperate politically and economically with other nations with disputed territories, such as its support of the community in Turkish North Cyprus and cooperation with fishing projects in the Western Sahara, a territory claimed by Morocco.
"By explicitly restricting EU cooperation with Israel to territory within the 1967 lines, the European Commission is not somehow saving the peace process. In many respects it is prejudging the question of Israel’s future borders, and in doing so it is in fact undermining the delicate negotiations that are currently transpiring," they wrote.