As a sign of growing European frustration with the lack of progress in the Mideast peace process, 26 top former leaders from European Union member states have signed a letter calling for sanctions against Israel to punish the nation for its settlement expansions.
Among the signatories were former Presidents of Germany and Ireland, a former Spanish Prime Minister, and the European Union’s former Foreign Minister Javier Solana. The letter underscored the illegality of the settlements under international law.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor expressed outraged at the letter, calling it “strange” that Europe was so interested in the settlements issue and warned that the letter risked totally sidelining the European Union from the peace process.
Which doesn’t mean much at this point, as the talks were in essence confirmed dead last week when the US announced it had stopped trying to get Israel to agree to a settlement freeze. In the wake of the announcement the US approved a major increase a military funding to Israel.