Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

EU: Jerusalem must be capital of Israel and Palestine

    A street in east Jerusalem. The new EU proposal will not call for the division of the city.
    A street in east Jerusalem. The new EU proposal will not call for the division of the city.

    The Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has defended the EU’s statement on Jerusalem, which called for it to become the capital of two states.

    Mr Bildt’s original proposal, which has firm support from Britain, recommended re-dividing the city, so that east Jerusalem could be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

    A watered-down version of the Swedish proposal was approved by the EU, removing the recognition of east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and referring to the Palestinian Authority, instead of “Palestine”.

    The approved document declared that the EU was “seriously concerned about the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process” and called for the resumption of negotiations among Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Lebanon.

    It also said: “The Council is deeply concerned about the situation in east Jerusalem.

    A way must be found to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states EU proposal

    “If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.

    “The Council calls for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem in accordance with the road map. It also calls on the Israeli government to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in east Jerusalem.”

    Mr Bildt said: “I understand Israel hasn't been entirely happy with President Obama either. You can't expect us to agree on everything. We have to have an independent line, and we do have that. I have no problem being pro-Palestinian; I have no problem being pro-Israeli. I am pro-peace."

    The 27 member states of the EU attended a meeting of the EU Council for Foreign Affairs to discuss the draft proposal.

    Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal reportedly backed the original Swedish proposal, while Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Poland, France and Germany pushed for changes to the text.

    The Board of Deputies has expressed its concern that the EU proposal puts the onus on Israel to make peace, and said it had written to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

    A statement from the Board said: “We consider that the EU’s comments on the status of Jerusalem are premature and show a failure to appreciate the intricacies of the negotiations involved in the peace process. This latest development casts doubt on the EU’s credibility and ability to act in an impartial manner. “

    An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Israel was saddened there was “nothing new” in the EU proposal, but welcomed the decision not to call for the division of Jerusalem.

    He said: “The statement by the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union ignores the primary obstacle to achieving a resolution between Israel and the Palestinians: the Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiating table.”

    The full EU proposal on Jerusalem

Israel

‘Gifts for Bibi’ investigation is ‘in final straight’

Anshel Pfeffer

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

‘Gifts for Bibi’ investigation is ‘in final straight’
Israel

Meet the rabbi that's making waves

Tim Marshall

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Meet the rabbi that's making waves
Israel

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...

JC Reporter

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...
Israel

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...
Israel

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk
Israel

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective
Israel

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...

Orlando Radice

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...
Israel

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...

JC Reporter

Friday, November 25, 2016

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...
Israel

Bibi faces probe over subs deal

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bibi faces probe over subs deal