Statement: ENAR Condemns Europe’s Dehumanising Reactions to the Israel-Palestine Brutality and Calls for Justice and Peace for all
Brussels, Belgium – 25 October 2023
The recent brutal cycle of violence in Israel and Palestine has raised critical concerns regarding the massive scale of loss of life and destruction, in a region that has already been the theatre of many injustices and oppressive policies and practices. The horrendous killing of civilians, including of children, has reached unimaginable levels and brutalised communities. Numerous rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL) have been violated and continue to cause unimaginable levels of human suffering.
There has been much reflection on the complexities involved, in order to ensure that our response conveys the gravity of the situation and our commitment to upholding fundamental human rights and the rules of international law, applicable to situations of armed conflict.
The European Network Against Racism firmly stands against all forms of violence, suffering, and loss of lives, whether they be Israeli or Palestinian. The continued loss of civilian lives on either side caused by war crimes and crimes against humanity is a profound and unreservedly condemned tragedy that must not be tolerated; every effort must be made to protect them without delay. The EU and MS must exert pressure for an immediate ceasefire and ensure that humanitarian aid is delivered.
ENAR equally calls out the double standards exhibited by Western leaders, including within the European Union, that prevent movements for justice and human rights from expressing solidarity. We are witnessing differential treatment and inconsistencies in several European states, where measures are being imposed that curtail freedom of expression, at times even going to the extreme of enacting blanket bans on protests and conveying them in extremely intimidating ways. It is paramount to safeguard citizens’ right to free expression and protest against human rights violations; both are fundamental entitlements guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 10 and Article 11).
“Families are being torn apart and communities are being decimated by ongoing committing of war crimes that violate the rules of International Humanitarian Law. EU leaders should promote a more balanced and nuanced approach, emphasising justice and the peaceful coexistence of all communities in the region. Their responses so far have simply added fuel to fire,” said Nyanchama Okemwa, ENAR Chair of the Board. “It is essential to encourage open discourse and solidarity on all sides, rather than to limit civic space.”
ENAR raises concern on the increase in hate speech and hate crimes targeting both Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe as a result of the conflict and the dehumanising rhetoric employed by politicians and the media across the EU bloc. All efforts should be made to address this issue and prevent further harm to the affected communities.
“European Union and Member States leaders are stoking the flames of this conflict by stripping away fundamental rights and internationally accepted humanitarian standards. Meanwhile, war crimes have been committed by both sides and continue to be committed without accountability, particularly in Gaza. War crimes are war crimes, no matter where they occur and who is devastated by them. EU leaders and the international community must reverse their historic failures by calling for an immediate cessation of the brutal hostilities and for upholding humanitarian standards. We remain hopeful that impartial investigations and accountability as a part of a genuine process to contribute to a resolution to the conflict and achieve peace,” stated Anne Nolan, ENAR Vice Chair of the Board.
The European Network Against Racism firmly stands for the principle of justice and peace in Israel and Palestine in this region. We stress the need for a decolonial perspective, acknowledging the historical legacy of European colonialism and the role it played – and continues to play – in shaping the tragedies in the region. We believe it is imperative to address the ongoing violence and suffering in the region without bias and to foster an environment of accountability, justice, and peace towards a transformative resolution of the conflict that guarantees self-determination and dignity for all people and communities.
In closing, we emphasise that every human life holds equal value, and it is our collective responsibility to work towards a peaceful resolution and lasting peace in the region. We call upon European leaders to stand by the principles of humanity and justice without delay and to actively seek ways to unite and contribute to peaceful solutions to the issue, in a world where the worth and dignity of every human being and human life is equally respected.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Nabil Sanaullah, ENAR Communications and Press Manager
Notes to editors:
- The European Network Against Racism (ENAR aisbl) stands against racism and discrimination and advocates equality and solidarity for all in Europe. We connect local and national anti-racist NGOs throughout Europe and voice the concerns of ethnic and religious minorities in European and national policy debate