NGOs Denounce EU Commission Statement
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More than 120 Palestinian NGOs Denounce EU Commission Statement

April 2023

Palestinian civil society organizations, undersigned, firmly condemn and reject the recent statement made by the EU Commission President, celebrating Israel’s “Independence” day while employing racist anti-Palestinian rhetoric and disregarding Palestinian history and the Nakba atrocities. These remarks deviate from fundamental political and diplomatic principles and shamelessly favor the occupying state, which perpetuates persecution, aggression, and state terrorism against the Palestinian people.

In her speech, Ursula Von Der Leyen employed the phrase “making the desert bloom” to describe Israel, which is a colonial remark that whitewashes Israel’s settler-colonial project, including the displacement of indigenous Palestinians and the illegal confiscation of their land. Furthermore, we reject Ms. Von Der Leyen’s use of biblical references that align with the Israeli occupier’s narrative, erasing the Palestinian people’s deep roots in the land and denying their inherent right to self-determination and national independence in their natural state. This narrative serves as the basis for Israel’s racist “Nation State Law,” which aims to solidify colonization and complete annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem.

The horrific events of the Palestinian Nakba, which led to the establishment of Israel, involved the displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians, creating enduring refugees, the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns, and the commission of numerous massacres. These acts persist today, reflecting the ongoing objective of displacing indigenous Palestinians and replacing them with Jewish Israelis across historical Palestine through ethnic cleansing.

The European Union’s failure to hold Israel accountable for its countless crimes and human rights violations, including the crime against humanity of apartheid, contributes to the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel as it escalates its aggression against the Palestinian people and their land, particularly in light of the new extremist Israeli government. Instead of working towards ending Israeli violations and delivering long-overdue justice to Palestine, the EU continues to reward Israel, the occupying power, with political, economic, and technological support and cooperation.

We urge the European Union to fulfill its responsibility by refraining from using inflammatory and objectionable language, as well as avoiding double standards when addressing issues related to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, as guaranteed by international laws and agreements. We call on elected European officials to demonstrate the courage and political will to pressure Israel into complying with international law, holding it accountable through concrete and effective measures that align with existing European Union laws, international obligations, and principles.

Lastly, we express gratitude to our friends and allies across Europe who have spoken out against this blatant anti-Palestinian racism and urge them to hold their officials accountable. Just as all other forms of hate and discrimination are unacceptable, anti-Palestinian-ism must not be tolerated.


(Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC)) – (The Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO)) – (AMAN Coalition) – (Al-Haq, Law in the service of man) – (The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH) – (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Gaza (PCHR)) – (Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights) – (Abdel ـ Shafi Community Health Association ( ACHA)) – (Adam association for the development of family society) – (Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) – (AFKAR Organization for Educational and Cultural Development) – (Agricultural Development Society ) – (Aisha Association for Woman & Child Protection) – (Al Adham for Development) – (Al Ataa’ Charitable Society) – (Al Awda Health and Community Association) – (Al Nahda Association for Development and Growth (NADG)) – (Al Najda Social Association ) – (AL RAAFA ASSOCIATION FOR SOCIALLY DEVELOPMENT & HANDICAPPED CARE) – (Al Sattar Garbee Association for Developing Countryside and Farmer) – (AL-Foukhary Association For Development and Culture) – (Almanal Society for Developing the Rural Women) – (Alnajda Developmental Forum) – (Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society) – (Altaghreed Association For Culture And Development) – (Al-Tawasol Forum Society ) – (Alternatives Forum – Palestine) – (Amwaj Association for Community Development and Improvement) – (Arab center for Agricultural Development (ACAD) /Ramallah – Gaza) – (Arab World Democracy and Electoral Monitor (Al Marsad)) – (Association for Visually Impaired Graduate League) – (Basma Society for Culture and Arts) – (Beit Lahia Youth Center Association) – (Bisan Center for Research and Development) – (Brilliant Tomorrow for Homes Sons Society) – (Center for Defense of Liberties & Civil Rights “Hurryyat”) – (Center of Women’s Legal Research, Counseling and Protection) – (Central Blood Bank Society) – (Centre for Culture and Development) – (Charitable Family Development Association) – (Community Action Center / Al-Quds University) – (Community Media Center) – (Defense for Children International – Palestine) – (Disability Representative Body Network ) – (Dr. Haidar Abdelshafi Centre for Culture and Development) – (El Amal Rehabilitation Society – Rafah) – (El-Braem Development Society ) – (Faisal Husseini Foundation) – (Federation of Woman Action Committee ) – (Filastiniyat) – (Future Association for Development and Environment ) – (Future Charity Association) – (Gaza Community Mental Health Programme – GCMHP) – (Gaza Urban & Peri-urban Agriculture Platform (GUPAP) | Gaza, Palestine ) – (General Union of Cultural Centers) – (Ghassan Kanafani Development ) – (Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS”) – (Jerusalem Human Rights Consortium (JHRC)) – (Jerusalem Legal Aid Center (JLAC)) – (Khuzaa permaculture association center) – (LABOR RESOURCES CENTER – LRC) – (Land Research Center (LRC)) – (Local Association For Social Services ) – (MA’AN Development Center) – (Mabarret Palestine Society for Caring (MPC)) – (Milad Association for Youth Development ) – (Mothers School Society) – (National Center for Rural Development Association) – (National Society for Rehabilitation ) – (Nawa for Culture and Arts Association) – (Al Najat Charity association) – (Palestine Amputee Football Association ) – (Palestinian Agricultural Development Association ) – (Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)) – (Palestinian Center of Organic Agriculture ) – (Palestinian Crescent Society for Relief and Development) – (Palestinian Developmental Women Studies Association ) – (Palestinian Farmers’ Union) – (Palestinian Health Work Committees (HWC)) – (Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC)) – (Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) ) – (Palestinian Non–Governmental Organization against Domestic Violence against Women (Al Muntada)) – (Palestinian Social Forum (PSF)) – (Palestinian Youth Union) – (PALTEAM Association for Community Development) – (Public Aid Society – Gaza) – (Remedial Education Center – REC) – (Rural Women Development Society (RWDS)) – (Science and Culture Center) – (Teacher Creativity Center) – (The Assembly Benevolent Of Operation ) – (The Civil Commission for the Independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law “Istqlal”) – (The Culture and Free Thought Association) – (The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development-REFORM) – (The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession MUSAWA) – (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Gaza (PCHR)) – (The Palestinian Development Women Studies Association) – (The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH) – (The Palestinian Institute for Communication and Development PICD) – (The Palestinian Women’s Coalition for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325) – (The Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD)) – (The Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation- PYALARA) – (The Society of Women Graduates in Gaza Strip) – (The Women’s Studies Centre) – (Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)) – (Union of Health Care Committees (UHCC)) – (Union of Palestinian Women Committees (UPWC)) – (Wasel Center for Youth Development) – (WEFAQ Society for Women and Child Care) – (Women Media and Development) – (Women’s Affairs Technical Committee) – (Women’s Studies Centre) – (Women’s Action Association for Rehabilitation Women & the Child) – (Women’s Affairs Center /Gaza) – (Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)) – (Youth Development Association) – (YWCA of Palestine) – (Zeina women’s society)