Open letter for Palestine to EU political leaders

Open letter to EU institutions and EU Member States: Stop Israel’s war crimes and prioritise the Palestinian people’s fight against genocide and apartheid 

Dear EU political leaders,

We write to you as a collective of civil society organisations committed to the principles of peace, democracy, decolonisation, and anti-imperialism. We call for immediate and ethical action by the EU to prioritise the Palestinian people’s fight against genocide and to cooperate with Palestinians and international partners, including those from the Global South, to prepare the ground for lasting peace and human security for Palestinians and Israelis alike, in full recognition of long-standing Palestinian demands to reclaim indigenous life and land.

The latest cycle of violence in Israel/Palestine is a horrific but inevitable consequence of a long and entangled history of European totalitarianism, Israeli settler colonialism, British imperialism, US hegemony, and the intentional derailing of a just peace process enabled by the silence of the EU, the US and the UK. While we grieve every civilian life lost equally, Palestinians have been, and continue to be, the oppressed group under this apartheid structure of power. As outlined by Jewish Voice for Peace, ‘The root of violence is oppression.’[1]

Since 7 October, EU institutions and some national governments have expressed their solidarity with Israel (only) and its right to “defend itself” with impunity, even projecting Israeli flags on EU buildings. Such actions have systematically erased Palestinian people’s voices and rights and ignored a long history of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid that lie at the root of this cycle of violence

European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola visited Israel on 14 October 2023, once again expressing their unreserved solidarity with Israel on behalf of the European Union as Israel imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip, cutting off fuel, water, energy, and food supplies in violation of international human rights standards. On 17 October 2023, von der Leyen stated that “There is no contradiction in standing in solidarity with Israel and acting for the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians.”[2] This response can only be understood as full EU complicity in Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, including collective punishment and genocide. 

It exposes the EU’s double standards in its foreign policy as it fails to stand for the people of Gaza as it has done for Ukraine against Russian aggression and similar acts of terror. In the long term, this will only undermine the EU’s democracy and its international credibility. 

It has also legitimised state violence to repress those standing up for Palestinian rights, and encouraged a surge in Islamophobic, racist attacks and violence against Palestinian activists and allies, including Jewish activists against apartheid, in Europe, Jerusalem, the West Bank, Israel, and across the world. The EU’s belligerent rhetoric has contributed to a cultural climate leading to a rise in hate crimes against Muslims, Arabs, and Jews in Europe.

We condemn the dominant EU political response to the war crimes in the occupied territories and the genocide taking place in Gaza. We welcome the few political leaders that have opposed it.[3] We call on EU institutions and EU Member States to prioritise the Palestinian people’s fight against genocide and apartheid by: 

  1. Ceasefire: Calling for an immediate ceasefire;
  2. Humanitarian aid: Firmly pressuring Israel, the Occupying Power, to respect its obligations under international law and to lift the illegal siege on Gaza and restore access to water, electricity, and fuel; and immediately responding to the humanitarian needs and calls for aid by Palestinians, including ensuring the vital delivery of medicines and life-saving supplies to Gaza;
  3. Arms and technology trade embargo: Halting at once all military exports, technology transfers and assistance to the Israeli settler colonial ethnostate.
  4. Accountability: Holding Israel accountable for its violations of international law and collective punishment against civilians, including by publicly and unconditionally supporting the current investigation carried out by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;
  5. Amplification of Palestinian voices: Organising a public hearing in the European Parliament with representatives from Palestinian human rights organisations in order to start discussions for a lasting and just peace;
  6. Protection of civic space: Protecting the civic space, including the right of peaceful assembly, expression and association of Palestinian civil society and activists both within Palestine and beyond. 
  7. Commitment to justice for the Palestinian people: Committing to an end to the occupation of Palestine, recognising the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and Respecting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

As long as Palestinians remain oppressed and their calls for decolonisation are sidelined, the cycle of violence is likely to continue, with disproportionate and deadly consequences for Palestinians. 

[1] Jewish Voice for Peace, Statement: The root of violence is oppression.
[3] We are referring to stances taken in by the Irish government (see related article) and Podemos (see related article). [4] Demands 2 and 4 are taken over from the demands as expressed in this letter by Palestinian civil society organisations:
[5] As outlined by Palestinian Civil Society in the Palestinian BDS National Committee


  1. #DiasporaVote!
  2. Advancing Together
  3. Al-Haq
  4. Alliance for Black Justice in Poland (BJP)
  5. Anti-Racist Forum ry
  6. Aralez
  7. Aruna Global South
  8. Assopace Palestina – Italy
  9. Black Women Radicals
  10. BMS_Berlin Migrant Strikers
  11. CADI – Comitato Antirazzista Durban Italia
  12. Center for Policies, Initiatives and Research PLATFORMA
  13. Central and Eastern European Feminist Research Network
  14. Centre for interactive inclusion of Roma Otaharin
  15. Centre for Peace Studies (Zagreb)
  16. CitizensLab e.V. 
  17. Change Partnership
  18. Cloudberry Collective
  19. Comision Legal Sol
  20. Connected Differences e.V.
  21. Dar al Janub – Verein für antirassistische und friedenspolitische Initiative
  22. Debt for Climate South Africa
  23. Decolonial International Network
  24. Decolonizing Sexualities Network
  25. Ecomood Portugal
  26. Een Andere Joodse Stem (Another Jewish Voice) / Belgium 
  27. Emergent Justice Collective
  28. Engagement arts
  29. Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice
  30. Equipo Decenio Afrodescendiente España
  31. EuroMed Rights
  32. European Legal Support Center
  33. European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network
  34. European Sex Workers Rights Alliance (ESWA)
  35. Fair Trials International
  36. Federation of Roma Associations in Catalonia – FAGiC
  37. Feminist Translocalities
  38. Fem-R ry
  39. FFIPP Europe
  40. Free Palestine Collective at CEU
  41. French Jewish Peace Union (UJFP)
  42. Fundacja Jaw Dikh, Poland
  43. Gastivists Collective
  44. Gibanje za pravice Palestincev, Slovenia
  45. Greek Forum of Refugees
  46. Green Twenties 
  47. Haringey Welcome
  48. Headquarters of the movement – HOTM
  49. Heartbeats Innovation & Communication 
  50. INSPIRIT Creatives NGO
  51. Intal Globalize Solidarity
  52. international anti-colonial network 
  53. International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine
  54. IStandWithOLIve
  55. Ivorian Community of Greece
  56. Jewish Network for Palestine
  57. Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East
  58. Jewish Voice for Labour (UK)
  59. Judeobolschewiener*innen
  60. Juno Visuals 
  61. KaskoSan Roma Charity
  62. Kif Kif vzw
  63. Lagrange Points Brussels
  64. Learning Network on Decolonization
  65. Legal Centre Lesvos
  66. LE KIOSK
  67. Listening House Media
  68. Madera Creation – Romania
  69. Migrant Tales
  70. Minority Initiative
  71. New Women Connectors
  72. Novact
  73. Open Paths Athens 
  74. Oyoun Berlin
  75. Palästina Solidarität Österreich
  76. Personae Of Color
  77. PIC- Legal Center for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, Slovenia
  78. Racism and Technology Center
  79. Revibra Europe
  80. Right to return committee in Norway
  81. Roma Active Albania 
  82. Roma and Travellers Mediation Center Belgium
  83. SELFOP
  85. Somoud Greece 
  86. Slovo 21, z.s. 
  87. Sounds Queer?
  88. South African Jews for a Free Palestine
  89. South/South Movement
  90. Spoiler Art
  91. State of the Arts
  92. Tamkeen for Legal aid and Human Rights
  93. The Center for Muslim Rights in Denmark
  94. The Cordoba Foundation 
  95. The Fire These Times 
  96. The Palestine Committee in Norway
  97. The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy 
  98. The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH
  99. Trademark Belfast
  100. Transnational Institute
  101. Trans United Europe
  102. Union of Justice
  103. Union of Palestinian Communities, Institutions and Activities in Europe
  104. Women in Black Vienna 
  105. Živi atelje DK (Kolektiv Žene ženama)


Civil society organisations are invited to co-sign this letter by filling out the form here.

Deadline for co-signing: the official deadline passed, but you can still co-sign on a rolling basis over the next couple of days/week – please do so as soon as possible!

This letter is initiated by a group of individuals and developed in consultation with a number of European and Palestinian civil society organisations. It was sent to EU political leaders on 26 October. For any questions about the letter, please contact

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