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WHAT WE DO - Public Policy

Dear Dr. Merkel

.... We beg of you with all urgency to maintain your rejection of a unilateral declaration of a State of Palestine...

Angela MerkelJust as you pointed out to Mahmud Abbas in Berlin that unilateral steps do not help progress, may we ask you to put this point forcefully within the European Union. We believe strongly that a permanent peace in the Middle East is possible only if two neighbouring states respect each other. With this in mind and with this objective, and based on mutual trust, there is an urgent need for negotiations to be resumed between the government of Israel and legitimate representatives of the Palestinians. Recognition of a State of Palestine is, in our opinion, only possible if it is linked to the guaranteed recognition of the Jewish State.

The government in Jerusalem has repeatedly declared itself to be ready for discussion. The Palestinians should take the Israelis at their word, and, without any pre-conditions, should start discussions which will lead to permanent peaceful co-existence. The unilateral demand for a State of Palestine in which Hamas plays a role would obstruct negotiations likely to lead to a peace agreement.

We call on the German government and the European Union to reject demands for the creation of a State of Palestine until the relevant negotiations will have brought about a successful conclusion. May we remind you that Israelis and Palestinians committed themselves, within the framework of the Oslo Accords, not to act unilaterally. This needs to be a firm commitment.

Additionally, so long as the basic prerequisites for a State of Palestine are not in place, a State cannot be recognised. There is no clearly defined geographic area, no clearly defined population nor even a State Authority. It is our wish that the people of Israel and those of the whole of the Middle East may live in peace within permanent and secure borders, which requires a smooth path towards negotiations on which both parties may have confidence. A United Nations majority in favour of the Declaration of a State of Palestine would not only be unhelpful but also counterproductive.

Yours sincerely

Dr. Klaus Schütz, German Ambassador to Israel 1977-1981
Dr. Niels Hansen, German Ambassador to Israel 1981-1985
Wilhelm Haas, German Ambassador to Israel 1985-1990
Dr. Franz Bertele, German Ambassador to Israel 1993-1996
Theodor Wallau, German Ambassador to Israel 1996-2000
Rudolf Dressler, German Ambassador to Israel 2000-2005
Lea Rosch
Jochen Feilcke, Member of Parliament 1983-1998 Chair of the German-Israeli Society Berlin and Potsdam