European Commission rejects Palestinian accusations against von der Leyen of “racist rhetoric in support of Israel”

A spokesman for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen rejected accusations of racist rhetoric leveled by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry against the most senior EU official on Friday.

Von der Leyen was “unpleasantly surprised by the inappropriate statement,” the spokesperson said, adding that the commission had asked the Palestinian Authority to explain the “unacceptable reaction.”

A video message in which von der Leyen congratulated Israel on the 75th anniversary of its founding on Wednesday, in which she said that Israel “literally made the desert bloom,” sparked criticism.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused von der Leyen, in a tweet on the social networking site “Twitter,” of undermining the reputation of the European Union and of being involved in delivering “anti-Palestinian rhetoric.”

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry demanded an apology, accusing von der Leyen of being involved in delivering a “propaganda speech” that erases the Palestinian people and “falsifies its rich history and civilization.”

The criticism added that von der Leyen’s speech continues the “racist denial” of the displacement and expulsion of about 700,000 Palestinians during the founding of the State of Israel and the “Arab-Israeli war” in 1948.

Hamas described the European Commissioner’s statements as “criminal and biased against the occupation.” Hussam Badran, a member of the movement’s political bureau, said on Twitter, “The statements of the President of the European Commission are full of hatred, hatred and racism, and they contain a lot of ignorance of history and the reality on the land of Palestine.”

And the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine considered, in a press statement, that the statements of the President of the European Commission are “disgraceful and fabricate lies, and prove that the European Union is a partner to the occupation in its aggression against our people.”

The Front indicated that “the European Union is one of the major contributors to the establishment of this racist settler-colonial entity and the Nakba of the Palestinian people,” and “its hand will remain stained with the blood of our Palestinian people for 75 years.”

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