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Europe

European Jews speak out against Israel's settlement policy

Around 3,400 Jewish people across Europe have signed a petition speaking out against Israel's policy on settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It is to be presented to the European parliament on Monday.

A construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim, near Jerusalem

Isarel continues to build settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

Thousands of Jewish people in Europe, among them well-known intellectuals, have spoken out against Israel's settlement policy, warning that it threatens the very survival of the Israeli state.

The petition, which is to be presented to the European Parliament on Monday, has been signed by intellectuals like German Greens politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit and French philosophers Bernard-Henri Levy and Alain Finkielkraut.

The initiative, which is called JCall - European Appeal for Reason -believes the ongoing construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is "morally and politically wrong and feeds the unacceptable delegitimization process that Israel currently faces abroad," according to the group's Web site.

Call for a Palestinian state

The signatories are in favor of a sovereign Palestinian state "to ensure the survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state." They also urge the EU and the United States to put pressure on Israel as well as the Palestinians to find a solution to the conflict.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged not to stop building settlements, which has been stalling negotiations with the Palestinians for months.

But on Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she expected talks to resume this week, with US Special Envoy George Mitchell mediating the negotiations.

ng/KNA/AP
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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