A group of pro-Israeli international politicians have launched the "Friends of Israel Initiative," a new project to counter mounting international pressure on Israel.
The group, led by former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, says they "seek to counter the attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders."
In a statement published by the Standard Weekly, the group calls Israel "a Western democracy and a normal country."
"Nonetheless, Israel has faced abnormal circumstances since its inception. In fact, Israel is the only Western democracy whose existence has been questioned by force, and whose legitimacy is still being questioned independently of its actions."
Aznar, who launched the group on June 17, said that Israel’s right to exist should not be open to question as the Jewish state was established by the United Nations.
"Israel is our first line of defense in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos," Aznar wrote in London Times.
"To abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears."
The leaders who joined the group include former member of the British Parliament David Trimble, Peru’s former president Alejandro Toledo, former president of the Italian Senate Marcello Pera, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and British historian Andrew Roberts.
Israel is under immense international pressure since its navy commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters in May, killing nine Turkish nationals.