There are a few weighty reasons for the initiative of some 1,000 activists in the Israeli peace camp – including artists, academics, military officers and former senior government officials – which aims to encourage Europeans parliaments to adopt a general resolution recognizing the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders alongside the State of Israel, as a basis for restarting the completely frozen peace negotiations.
The first reason stems from the desire to signal to the moderate Palestinian camp not to give up on the peace process and not to turn to the road of violence. The brutal acts of terror carried out recently by lone suicide bombers and the growing aggressive despair sown by Hamas among the population in the West Bank can only be curbed with the power of a new hope among the Palestinians, which declares that the road of negotiations is indeed possible and will lead to new results.
In light of the American failure to make real progress in the peace process, a new and more vigorous initiative is important in order to renew the peace negotiations and set a deadline, although a completely theoretical one, for its completion.
The second reason stems from the growing fear, not only in the peace camp but also among broad parts of the Israeli public, that we are constantly slipping towards a bi-national state, and the feeling that the road to the two-state solution is being blocked because of Israel's unceasing settlements in the territories.
The United States' inability, despite its strength and influence, to at least stop the settlements, is turning the bi-national state into a fact which will be disastrous for both Israel and the Palestinians. Therefore, for the future of democracy, Europe's democratic states must try to intervene in the peace process more firmly.
New voices of despair are being heard in Israel, both in the right-wing and left-wing circles – voices which were not even heard during the most difficult days on the eve of the state's establishment in 1948 or on the eve of the Six-Day War.
These new voices are firmly declaring that there will never be peace between Israel and the Arab world. Giving up on the option of reconciliation and coexistence with the Palestinians casts a heavy shadow on the Israeli state's existence. Therefore we must rise up with all our might against this new sentence, which is destroying the hope for peace.
Even if all the European parliaments decide on a final date for the establishment of the Palestinian state within the 1967 border (indicating an unequivocal European stance against the right of return), Europe itself will not be able to create the Palestinian state.
That state will only be established in direct and active negotiations with Israel, where all governments since the Oslo Agreement in 1993 have expressed their agreement in principle to the two-state solution, but were afraid to actively work for its realization.
The Palestinians say they had to pay the price for the murderous anti-Semitism which raged in Europe in the 20th century and led Europe's Jews to search for a more radical solution in the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state in Palestine, and there is a certain amount of justice in their claim.
Therefore, it is not only Europe's diplomatic duty to become more vigorously involved in the resumption and completion of the peace process, but also its moral duty not to leave the Palestinians alone in the struggle for independence.
The encouragement we Israelis are giving the European parliaments to officially recognize the state of Palestine alongside Israel is a moral and existential act not only for the Palestinians, but first and foremost for the Israelis themselves.