Maariv newspaper reported on its website that it has obtained an unusual letter written to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union, Catherine Ashton, in which a number of European politicians demand radical change in the political process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The letter also contains sharp criticisms of Israel's policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
According to the newspaper, the letter was written by a group of well-known politicians, including prime ministers, foreign ministers, and senior officials.
The letter also calls on the European Union to oppose expansion – natural or unnatural – in the construction of settlements in the West Bank, and demanded that the "existence of settlements" not be a starting point for any negotiations.
The letter also contained warnings to Ashton saying, "The future generations will believe that the Europeans cannot be forgiven for not doing everything possible to correct the on-going violation of the Palestinians' rights to decide their fate."
Maariv also reported that it obtained the whole letter, which was signed by 19 officials from 11 European countries, 4 of whom were former prime ministers, 7 former foreign ministers, and one former president.
The letter was signed by the former French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, the former Dutch Prime Minister, the former Irish Prime Minister, the former Italian Prime Minister, and Miguel Moratinos.
Furthermore, the letter criticises the basic platforms associated with the "political operation," including, for instance, that the US is leading the "political process" as well as the demographic developments on the ground (settlements), which may change the settlement maps.
Maariv described the letter as being very harsh towards Israeli interests in negotiations with the Palestinians.
The letter also said "efforts must be made quickly and in a concentrated manner to stop the removal of the '67 borders as a basis of the two-state solution." It also said that the EU must "clearly distinguish between the legitimate Israel within the '67 borders, and between the violations of international laws in the territories occupied in '67."
The former European officials described the "peace process" as "dying", and expressed their frustration and concern with the deterioration of human rights and the humanitarian conditions in the occupied territories. The letter also stressed that the "permanent solution must include two independent states for two nations, and that in light of the current situation, the goal of the settlement in maintaining the security and stability of Israel is not guaranteed."
It went on to say: "The time has come to clearly warn the western countries currently working on prolonging the occupation." It also demands that Ashton acknowledge, once again, that Israel is an occupying state and, based on international law, must be held accountable for what is occurring in the occupied territories.
The conclusion of the letter stated that the EU must become an effective element in the "process" between Israelis and Palestinians, and that "failing to play an effective European role and being dangerously silent is unethical and unwise; the evidence is mounting, indicating the failure of the US to treat the Israelis and Palestinians equally in its quest towards establishing a settlement in accordance with UN resolutions.