Israel issued a strong condemnation of an upcoming EU event held in conjunction with a NGO highly critical of Israel’s policies in Palestinian territories on Monday.
The event, commemorating International Human Rights Day, features photographs of 50 Palestinians born in 1967, the year that Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza and instituted military rule over the territories.
The photo exhibition is organised by B’tselem, an Israeli NGO which alleges rights violations against Palestinians.
EU’s Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, is expected to attend the event along with other visiting foreign dignitaries, a spokesperson for the EU delegation in Israel said.
“For unclear reasons, the EU people believe that the way to Israelis’ hearts is by spitting in their faces,’’ Emmanual Nahshon, a spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement.
“We are again witnessing the same patronising approach of moral preaching, hypocritical and arrogant. This causes distance rather than bringing closer; just pushes away rather than bringing closer. It is sad and unnecessary,’’ he said.
The EU delegation spokesperson said that the event was planned in order to enforce the EU’s commitment to human rights, “It’s an ongoing photography event and we have organised a number of events at different points of the day,’’ he said.
Israel has accuses B’tselem and other left-wing human rights organisations of “slander.’’
In May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel over Gabriel’s decision to meet B’tselem and another government-critical NGO.