NGO presses EU to condemn Israeli ‘apartheid’ at council meeting

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, along with the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, plan to hold a Zoom press conference to highlight allegations of pressing Israeli human-rights violations.

 Pro-Palestinian demonstrators hold candles during a protest in front of Catalan Government in Sant Jaume quarter in central Barcelona January 16, 2009 against Israel's attacks on Gaza. The sign reads: "Boycott Israel, boycott apartheid". (photo credit: REUTERS/GUSTAU NACARINO)
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators hold candles during a protest in front of Catalan Government in Sant Jaume quarter in central Barcelona January 16, 2009 against Israel's attacks on Gaza. The sign reads: "Boycott Israel, boycott apartheid".
(photo credit: REUTERS/GUSTAU NACARINO)

The European Union must denounce Israeli crimes of “apartheid” and condemn its “occupation” when it holds the first EU-Israel Association Council meeting in a decade on Monday, the international nongovernment organization Human Rights Watch said Sunday.

“European officials should know they’ll be shaking hands with representatives of a government committing crimes against humanity and that has outlawed prominent civil society groups challenging these abuses.”

Omar Shakir

“European officials should know they’ll be shaking hands with representatives of a government committing crimes against humanity and that has outlawed prominent civil society groups challenging these abuses,” said Omar Shakir, director of the Israeli and Palestinian office of Human Rights Watch. “Pretending it’s business as usual with Israel amid escalating repression sends the message that EU condemnation is worth little more than the paper it’s written on.”

The meeting is designed to strengthen Israeli-EU ties and comes after Prime Minister Yair Lapid reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.

NGOs, however, want to pressure the EU to use the occasion to pressure Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines.

Activists of Amnesty International demonstrate to show their support with the Syrian people at the Fontaine des Innocentes in Paris May 29, 2012. (credit: REUTERS)Activists of Amnesty International demonstrate to show their support with the Syrian people at the Fontaine des Innocentes in Paris May 29, 2012. (credit: REUTERS)

An Israeli apartheid conference over Zoom

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, along with the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, plan to hold a Zoom press conference on Monday to highlight allegations of pressing Israeli human-rights violations and to argue that the EU is supporting Israeli impunity.

Among the issues they said they would address are the shooting death of American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the Israeli designation of six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist groups, including Al-Haq.