Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, then-German Minister of Defense, during a press conference in Jerusalem, May 12, 2015. (AP/Dan Balilty, Pool Photo via AP) (AP/Dan Balilty, Pool Photo via AP)
Ursula von der Leyen Benjamin Netanyahu

The European official’s statement denies the Palestinians’ “rich history,” whitewashes “Israeli apartheid” and goes against the EU’s commitment to international law and human rights, the PA stated.

By United with Israel Staff

The Palestinian Authority is demanding an apology from Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, for congratulating Israel on its 75th Independence Day, which was celebrated this week.

Von der Leyen praised the State of Israel, noting correctly that it is “only democracy in the Middle East.”

“Seventy-five years ago, a dream was realized, with Israel’s Independence Day,” Von der Leyen stated in a message to President Isaac Herzog and the Israeli people.

“After the greatest tragedy in human history, the Jewish People could finally build a home in the Promised Land,” she said.

“Today, we celebrate 75 years of vibrant democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Seventy-five years of dynamism, ingenuity, and groundbreaking innovations. You have literally made the desert bloom, as I could see during my visit to the Negev last year.

“Today we also celebrate 75 years of friendship between Israel and Europe. We have more in common than geography would suggest: our shared culture, our values, and hundreds of thousands of dual European-Israeli citizens have created a deep connection between us.

“Europe and Israel are bound to be friends and allies. Your freedom is our freedom. Happy birthday to all the people of Israel,” she concluded.

What ‘State of Palestine’?

The PA especially took issue with her statement that the pioneers of the Jewish state had made the desert bloom, claiming that if falsifies the Palestinians’ “rich history” and whitewashes “Israeli apartheid.”

“The State of Palestine rejects the inappropriate, false and discriminatory remarks by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, particularly the ‘make the desert bloom’ anti-Palestinian racist trope in relations to Israel’s 75 years colonial project of ongoing dispossession and the displacement of the Palestinian people and their land,” the PA statement reads.

“The State of Palestinian affirms that such propagandist discourse dehumanizes and erases the Palestinian people and falsifies their rich history and civilization. Likewise, such narrative perpetuates the continued and racist denial of the Nakba and whitewashes Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid regime.

“Such adoption of anti-Palestinian rhetoric undermines the European Union’s standing and casts serious doubts on its declared commitment to international law and human rights. It is also a betrayal to European citizens who do not endorse such racist erasure of the Palestinian people. President Ursula von der Leyen owes them and the Palestinian people an apology.”

Genuine historical documents show that the real Palestinians are in fact the Jews.

The Roman occupiers renamed the Land of Israel “Palestine” in the 2nd century in order to humiliate, demoralize and punish the Jews living there and minimize Jewish identification with the land.

The name “Palestine” is derived from an ancient aquatic nation, the Philistines, which likely originated near the Aegean Sea and invaded the Land of Israel during antiquity. They have since ceased to exist.

Until 1948, when the State of Israel was established, Arabs in the region rejected the term “Palestinian,” which at the time referred to both Jews and Arabs, preferring instead to call the Holy Land “Southern Syria,” a backwater province of the Ottoman Empire.

While the name Palestine does not appear in the Koran even once, its Hebrew equivalent appears in the Jewish Bible no fewer than 250 times.

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