Paris, France – More than 3,000 European Jews, including prominent intellectuals, have signed a petition speaking out against Israeli settlement policies and warning that systematic support for the Israeli government is dangerous.
The petition’s signatories include French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a Greens leader in the European Parliament. Backers – who compare their goals to those of J Street, a liberal Jewish lobbying group in the United States – plan to present their position at a news conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday.
Many signatories are from France, where the petition has received much press coverage. France’s Jewish community has hotly debated the petition, entitled “Call for Reason.” The president of France’s leading Jewish association, CRIF, declined to sign, saying he objected to its tone and some of its language.
“Do Israelis need the Jewish Diaspora to know what is ‘the right’ decision, what should be the borders of a country that their sons and daughters are protecting?” Richard Prasquier wrote in Le Figaro newspaper.
Those circulating the petition hope to build a European movement “to allow a Jewish voice to be heard that is both committed to the state of Israel and critical of the current choices of its government.”
The petition, online athttp://www.jcall.eu, says Israel faces a threat in the “occupation and the continuing pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and in the Arab districts of East Jerusalem.
“These policies are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable delegitimization process that Israel currently faces abroad,” it says.