The headline in today's Haaretz read, "EU to recognize East Jerusalem as capital of Palestinian state." It's an ominous development for those who think Jerusalem should remain the "undivided, eternal capital of the Jewish state." Here's an excerpt from the article.
"European Union foreign ministers are expected to officially call next week for Jerusalem to be divided so as to serve as the capitals of both Israel and Palestine. A draft document authored by the current holder of the rotating EU presidency, Sweden, and implying that the EU would recognize a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood, has been obtained by Haaretz.
Jerusalem is waging a diplomatic campaign to keep the EU from issuing such an endorsement, but diplomats close to the EU deliberations believe it is virtually inevitable.
EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on December 7 for a two-day meeting in Brussels on the peace process, after which a statement outlining the body's Mideast policy is expected.
The Swedish draft represents the first official EU articulation of a solution for one of the core issues of the final-status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians.
The document expressed the EU's concern over the stalemate in the peace process and calls for the immediate renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in accordance with a prescribed timetable. The goal, it states, is "an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The draft refers directly to the situation in East Jerusalem, calling on "all parties to refrain from provocative actions" and stating the EU Council "has never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem. If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found to resolve the status of Jerusalem as 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."