By Palestine Chronicle Staff
Palestinians on Wednesday slammed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s congratulatory message to Israel on the occasion of the country’s 75th-year anniversary, which Palestinians consider their Nakba.
In a video message posted by the EU Embassy in Israel, von der Leyen praised Israel, describing it as “a vibrant democracy in the heart of the Middle East”.
Von der Leyen went as far as making a reference to an old Zionist cliché, which claims that Zionism and Israel have made “the desert bloom”. This specific cliché is often associated with another claim that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without a land”.
Today we celebrate 75 years of Israel’s independence and friendship with Europe.
A special message from President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: pic.twitter.com/TCi7GpfQWm
— EU in Israel 🇪🇺🇮🇱 (@EUinIsrael) April 26, 2023
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called von der Leyen’s message “inappropriate, false and discriminatory”, particularly her remark about making “the desert bloom”.
“The State of Palestine rejects the inappropriate, false and discriminatory remarks by the president of the European Commission, particularly the ‘make the desert bloom’ anti-Palestinian racist trope in relation to Israel’s 75-year colonial project,” the statement read.
The Ministry also highlighted the erasure of the Nakba, or catastrophe, a reference to the forced expulsion of almost 800,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands in 1948 to make space for the establishment of Israel as an exclusive Jewish state.
(The Palestine Chronicle)