Belgium (Brussels Morning newspaper) In a world that has witnessed the heartbreaking cycle of violence in Israel and Palestine, The European Network Against Racism (ENAR aisbl) stands firm in its commitment to oppose racism and discrimination and to advocate for equality and solidarity for all in Europe.
The recent surge of violence in the region, with devastating loss of life and widespread destruction, raises critical concerns about the dire human suffering and the violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws.
The conflict has taken a heavy toll on civilians, including innocent children, and has shaken communities to their core. The violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL) have reached unprecedented levels, leading to unimaginable suffering.
Reflecting on the complexities of the situation, ENAR emphasizes the gravity of the crisis and the organization’s unwavering commitment to upholding fundamental human rights and the rules of international law, especially in times of armed conflict.
ENAR stands against all forms of violence and loss of life, regardless of nationality or ethnicity. The loss of civilian lives, resulting from war crimes and crimes against humanity, is a tragedy that cannot be tolerated. Efforts must be made to protect these lives without delay. The European Union and its Member States are urged to exert pressure for an immediate ceasefire and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.
ENAR also condemns the double standards exhibited by Western leaders, including within the European Union, which hinder movements advocating justice and human rights from expressing solidarity.
The organization observes inconsistencies in several European states, where measures are imposed that curtail freedom of expression and even ban protests. ENAR underscores the importance of safeguarding citizens’ rights to free expression and protest, which are fundamental entitlements guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The conflict in Israel and Palestine has led to an increase in hate speech and hate crimes targeting both Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe. ENAR calls for concerted efforts to address this issue and prevent further harm to these communities.
“War crimes are war crimes, no matter where they occur and who is devastated by them,” says Anne Nolan, ENAR Vice Chair of the Board. ENAR calls on EU leaders and the international community to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, uphold humanitarian standards, and advocate for impartial investigations and accountability as part of a genuine process to contribute to a resolution to the conflict and achieve peace.
ENAR advocates for a decolonial perspective, acknowledging the historical legacy of European colonialism in shaping the tragedies in the region. The organization emphasizes the need for unbiased efforts to address the ongoing violence and suffering and calls for accountability, justice, and peace as part of a transformative resolution of the conflict that guarantees self-determination and dignity for all people and communities.
In conclusion, ENAR underscores that every human life holds equal value, and it is the collective responsibility of all to work toward a peaceful resolution and lasting peace in the region.
European leaders are called upon to stand by the principles of humanity and justice without delay and actively seek ways to unite and contribute to peaceful solutions in a world where the worth and dignity of every human being and human life is equally respected.