HUNGARY: EUROPEAN UNION WAS WRONG TO CALL FOR SPLIT OF JERUSALEM

December 21, 2009

HUNGARY: EUROPEAN UNION WAS WRONG TO CALL FOR SPLIT OF JERUSALEM

Hungary rejects the recent Sweden-led EU call to have Jerusalem declared capitols of both Israel and a Palestinian state.

Last week the Simon Wiesenthal Center protested to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose nation serves as the current rotating EU President, that the EU resolution is irresponsible and a blow to any chances for Mideast peace.

In a letter to Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s associate dean, Hungary’s Ambassador to the U.S., Béla Szombati, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to Middle East peace and the two state solution. “In this vein,” he wrote, “the Government of Hungary opposed from the outset citing East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.”

The Ambassador said that Hungary had urged fellow EU member states to stop calling for Jerusalem to be the capital of the states, leaving it to the two parties to negotiate without the EU’s intervention. “Hungary believes that a balanced EU approach to the Middle East Peace Process has to be reflected in the Conclusions to encourage both parties to return to the negotiating table,” he added,

Hungary’s statement comes in stark contrast to this weekend’s remarks by Catherine Ashton ., the EU’s recently appointed Mister for Foreign Affairs, in which she blasted Israel’s policies, calling East Jerusalem “occupied territory” .

"All that the posturing by officials of the European Union on key issues like Jerusalem is to once again inflate and harden Palestinian expectations and incense Israelis,” said Rabbi Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center. “Why should the Palestinians be in any rush to negotiate with PM Netanyahu's government when Sweden and the EU Foreign Minister are doing the heavy lifting for them?"

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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