British Warmongering Is Driving Europe Towards Catastrophe in Ukraine

From lobbying for fighter jets to supplying depleted uranium, the UK is making sure escalation is the only way forward

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected trip to Britain last week on a whistle-stop tour of European capitals, pleading for more powerful and longer-range weapons to use in his war against Russia. 

What was hard to ignore once again was the extent to which the UK is playing an outsize role in Ukraine.

Last year, shortly after the start of the war, the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, hurried to Kyiv – presumably on Washington’s instructions – apparently to warn Zelensky off fledgling peace talks with Moscow.

At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favoured an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to “weaken” Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China.

Since then, the UK has been at the forefront of European efforts to entrench the conflict, helping to lobby for the supply of weapons, training and military intelligence to Ukrainian forces.

British tanks and thousands of tank shells – including, controversially, some made from depleted uranium – are being shipped out. Last week, the UK added hundreds of long-range attack drones to the inventory.

And an unspecified number of £2m-a-blast Storm Shadow cruise missiles, with a range of nearly 300km, have started arriving. Last week Ben Wallace, Britain’s defence secretary, said the missiles were already in use, adding that Kyiv alone was deciding on the targets.

Storm Shadow allows the Ukrainian military to strike deep into Russian-annexed parts of Ukraine – and potentially at Russian cities too.

A recent leak revealed that the Pentagon had learnt through electronic eavesdropping of Zelensky’s eagerness for longer-range missiles so that his forces were “capable of reaching Russian troop deployments in Russia”.

Lip service

Britain now pays little more than lip service to the West’s claim that its role is only to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression. The supply of increasingly offensive weapons has turned Ukraine into what amounts to a proxy battleground on which the Cold War can be revived.

During Zelensky’s visit to the UK last week, Johnson’s successor, Rishi Sunak, effectively acted as an arms broker for Ukraine, joining with the Netherlands in what was grandly dubbed an “international coalition” to pressure the Biden administration and other European states to supply Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets. 

Washington appeared not to need much cajoling. Three days later, Biden dramatically changed tack at a G7 summit in Japan. He effectively gave a green light for US allies to supply Ukraine not only with US-made F-16s but similar fourth-generation fighter jets, including Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon and France’s Mirage 2000.

Administration officials surprised European leaders by suggesting the US would be directly involved in the training of pilots outside Ukraine.

After a highly staged “surprise” visit by Zelensky to the summit at the weekend, Biden said he had been given a “flat reassurance” that the jets would not attack Russian territory.

British officials, meanwhile, indicated that the UK would start training Ukrainian pilots within weeks.

‘Rightful place is in Nato’ 

No 10 has made clear that Sunak’s purpose is to build “a new Ukrainian air force with Nato-standard F-16 jets” and that the prime minister believes “Ukraine’s rightful place is in Nato”.

These statements seem intended once again to block any potential path towards peace. President Vladimir Putin repeatedly spoke out against Nato’s growing, covert involvement in neighbouring Ukraine before Russia launched its invasion 15 months ago.

It is hard to imagine that the UK is heading off-script. More likely, the Biden administration is using Britain to make the running and soften up Western publics as Nato becomes ever more deeply immersed in the military activities of Russia’s neighbour.

Ukraine is being gradually turned into the very Nato forward base that first set Moscow on course to invade.

At the same time, Britain appears to be exploiting the Ukraine war as a showcase for its weaponry. After the US, it has been the largest supplier of military equipment to Ukraine.

This week it was reported that UK arms exports hit a record £8.5bn, more than double last year’s total. The last time Britain was so successful at selling weapons was in 2015, at the height of the Syrian war.

Risk to health

Europe’s weapons largesse is, we are told, the precondition for Ukraine to mount a long-awaited counter-offensive to take back territory Russia has seized in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine.

Speaking candidly in Florence this month, Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, ruled out peace talks. Ukraine needed massive supplies of arms because otherwise “Ukraine will fall in a matter of days”, he said.

Borrell’s warning not only suggested the precariousness of Ukraine’s situation but implied that, out of desperation, its leaders might be prepared to approve ever riskier combat scenarios.

And thanks to British meddling, the heavy toll of casualties as the war rages on – among the Ukrainian population and Russian soldiers, as well as potentially inside Russia’s borders too – may be felt not just over the coming months but for decades.

In March, Declassified broke the story that some of the thousands of tank shells Britain is supplying to Kyiv are made of depleted uranium (DU), a radioactive heavy metal produced as waste from nuclear power plants.

Keir Starmer’s opposition Labour party has said it “fully supports” the UK government’s supply of these armour-piercing shells to Ukraine, despite the long-term risk they pose to those exposed to the chemically toxic contamination left behind.

DU shells fragment and burn when they hit a target. One analyst, Doug Weir, from the Conflict and Environment Observatory, told Declassified that the ammunition produces “chemically toxic and radioactive DU particulate [microscopic particles] that poses an inhalational risk to people”.

Nonetheless, British ministers insist the threat to human health is low – and worth the risk given the military gains in helping Ukraine to destroy Russian tanks.

Cancer deaths 

As Declassified has highlighted, however, a growing body of evidence following the use of such shells by the US in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and by Britain and the US in Iraq a decade later undermines these reassurances.

Italian courts have upheld compensation claims against the country’s military in more than 300 cases where Italians who served in the police or as soldiers in Bosnia and Kosovo have died of cancer after being exposed to DU.

Many thousands more Italian former service-people are reported to have developed cancers.

In 2001 Tony Blair’s government downplayed the role of DU in Italy’s deaths to avoid upsetting the new administration of George W Bush. Both leaders would soon approve the use of DU rounds in Iraq, though the UK admitted a “moral obligation” to help clean up some of the contamination afterwards.

The West has taken little interest in researching the effects of DU weapons in Iraq, even though local civilian populations have been the most exposed to its contamination. DU shells were used extensively during both the 1991 Gulf war and more than a decade later during the US and British-led occupation of Iraq.

Iraqi government statistics suggest the rates of cancers leapt 40-fold between the period immediately before the Gulf war and 2005.

The city of Fallujah, which the US devastated after the 2003 invasion, is reported to suffer “the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied”. Birth defects are said to be roughly 14 times the rate in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki regions of Japan, where the US dropped atomic bombs.

In 2018 the British government reclassified a 1981 report into the dangers of DU weapons by the Ministry of Defence’s Atomic Weapons Research Establishment it had made available three years earlier.

Meanwhile, James Heappey, the armed forces minister, has misleadingly suggested that international bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations have found no long-term health or environmental hazards associated with DU weapons.

But as Weir told Declassified in March: “None of the entities cited by the MoD has undertaken long-term environmental or health studies in conflict areas where DU weapons have been used.”

In other words, they simply don’t know – and possibly don’t care to find out.

Weir added that the WHO, UN and International Atomic Energy Agency had all called for contaminated areas to be clearly marked and access restricted, while at the same time recommending that risk awareness campaigns be targeted at nearby communities.

British officials have also recruited the Royal Society to their efforts to claim DU is safe – as the US did earlier, in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, citing two of its reports published in 2001 and 2002.

However, the Royal Society has vocally distanced itself from such claims. A spokesperson told Declassified that, despite the British government’s assertions, DU was no longer an “active area of policy research”.

Back in 2003, the Royal Society rebuked Washington, telling the Guardian that soldiers and civilians in Iraq “were in short and long term danger. Children playing at contaminated sites were particularly at risk.”

At the same time, the chairman of the Royal Society’s working group on depleted uranium, Professor Brian Spratt, warned that corroding shells could leach DU into water supplies. He recommended removing ordinance and conducting long-term sampling of water supplies.

Voices silenced 

By lobbying for more overtly offensive weapons and introducing DU shells into the war, Britain has raised the stakes in two incendiary ways.

First, it is driving the war’s logic towards ever greater escalation, including nuclear escalation.

Russia itself possesses DU weapons but is reported to have avoided using them. Moscow has long warned that it regards use of DU in Ukraine in nuclear terms: as the equivalent of a “dirty bomb”.

In March Putin responded to the UK’s decision to supply DU tank shells by vowing to move “tactical” nuclear weapons into neighbouring Belarus. Meanwhile, his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said it put the world “fewer and fewer steps” away from “nuclear collision”.

But Britain is also creating a situation where a catastrophic move, or miscalculation, by either Russia or Ukraine is becoming ever more likely, as events last week highlighted only too clearly.

Russia struck a military ammunition depot in western Ukraine, creating a giant fireball. Rumours suggested the site may have included British DU shells.

Whether true or not, it is a reminder that Moscow could hit such a storage site, intentionally or accidentally, spreading contamination widely over a built-up area.

With Ukraine soon to be in possession of a full array of offensive weapons, largely courtesy of the UK – not only long-range drones, cruise missiles and tanks but fighter jets – it is not hard to imagine terrifying scenarios that could quickly bring Europe to the brink of nuclear conflict.

Moscow hits a DU ammunition depot, exposing a large civilian population to toxic contamination. Ukraine retaliates with air strikes deep inside Russia. The path to a nuclear exchange in Europe has never looked closer.

Those who warned that peace talks were urgently needed rather than an arms race in Ukraine are looking more prescient by the day. For how much longer can their voices continue to be silenced, not only by western leaders but by the western media too?

Palestinian Health Ministry Condemns Israeli Prevention of Palestinian Patients from Receiving Medical Treatment

M.S | DOP –

The Palestinian Health Ministry condemned on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the Israeli occupation closure of the Beit Hanon (Erez) crossing for the second day in a row, preventing Palestinian patients from leaving the city to receive medical.

“The Israeli occupation continues to close the Beit Hanon crossing for the second day in a row, preventing 292 Palestinian patients, most of whom are oncology patients, and their companions from leaving for treatment in hospitals in Occupied Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the 1948-occupied Palestinian territories,” said the ministry.

It indicated that the Israeli occupation banning Palestinian patients from reaching specialized hospitals is a clear violation of International humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Israeli occupation is not satisfied with preventing the entry of medical diagnostic devices and some needed medicine to Gaza for more than 18 months but is still completing its crimes against Gaza’s Palestinian patients for the third day, it added.

The Palestinian Health Ministry called on the international community to interfere and pressure the Israeli occupation to allow Palestinian patients to leave Gaza for medical treatment to save their lives.


the undersigned, international health professionals concerned in the protection of Palestinian health rights and in the respect of human rights and the application of international laws, ask your Excellency to act immediately for relieving the plight of Gaza again sealed and without medical supplies, or permit for patients to exit for care, by requesting free and immediate passage of medical supplies, instruments and international health and healthrelated professionals into Gaza and to secure exit/return permits for patients.
We know that EU representatives in Palestine and yourself are aware of the scarcity in medical supplies and personnel, which mark the worst stage of 17 years of blockade of Gaza.
We therefore assume you can see the implications for the whole population of another military attack, where the capability to care for eventual trauma patients is simply not available, as it is no more that of maintaining routine care.
We ask you to request strongly to Israel and Egypt to keep open in all conditions the passages and grant unrestricted access, as above, for humanitarian purposes.
In doing so, you and the EU would be honoring your own statements of concern for the Palestinian population and would exercise the institutional duties of EU as signatory of the Geneva conventions.
We expect you will be so kind to give course to this request rapidly.
Best regards

All’Alto Rappresentante dell’Unione Europea per gli Affari Esteri e la Politica di Sicurezza,Josep Borrell

i sottoscritti, operatori sanitari internazionali interessati alla protezione del diritto alla salutedei palestinesi e al rispetto dei diritti umani e all’applicazione delle leggi internazionali,chiedono alla Vostra Eccellenzadi agire immediatamente per alleviare la difficile situazione di Gaza nuovamente sigillata esenza forniture mediche, per consentire ai pazienti di uscire per cure, per permettere ilpassaggio immediato di forniture mediche, strumenti e forniture sanitarie, ed il passaggio di
operatori sanitari internazionali a Gaza e per garantire i permessi di uscita/ritorno per ipazienti.Sappiamo che i rappresentanti dell’UE in Palestina, e Lei stesso, siete consapevoli dellascarsità di forniture mediche e personale, che segna la fase peggiore di 17 anni di blocco diGaza.Assumiamo quindi che Lei possa comprendere le implicazioni per l’intera popolazione di unaltro attacco militare, quando la capacità di prendersi cura di eventuali feriti semplicementenon è disponibile, così come non lo è più quella di mantenere le cure di routine.

Le chiediamo di esercitare forte pressione su Israele ed l’Egitto perchè mantengano aperti, intutte le condizioni, i passaggi e l’accesso senza restrizioni, come descritto sopra, di materialie persone, per scopi umanitari.In tal modo, Lei e l’UE onorereste le vostre stesse dichiarazioni di preoccupazione per lapopolazione palestinese ed esercitereste i doveri istituzionali dell’UE in quanto firmatariodelle convenzioni di Ginevra.

Ci aspettiamo che sarai così gentile da dare corso a questa richiesta rapidamente.
Distinti saluti

1. Alan Meyers, MD,MPH, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School
of Medicine, Boston MA USA
2. Alice Rothchild MD, USA
3. Amy Alpert CCC-SLP, USA
4. Andrea Balduzzi, Dr. Biologist, retired University of Genoa, Italy
5. Angelo Stefanini, Dr., PCRF and University of Bologna (
6. Baroness Jenny Tonge, Dr. UK
7. Carla Ciccone, Gynecologist, retired, Ospedale Moscato, Avellino, Italy
8. Cathy Wield, Specialist in Emergency Medicine
9. Christophe Oberlin, Professor of Medicine, France
10. Colin Green, PhD (Med); DSc(Med); FRCVS; FRC Path; FRCS (England) Professor
of Surgery, University College London (UCL),, Founder, Director of Overseas
Development, IMET2000
11. David Ward, MB, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Consultant Psychiatrist, Senior
Lecturer- University of Queensland, Metro South Health
12. Derek Summerfield, King’s College, Univ of London
13. Dianne Lefevre, Consultant psychiatrist, London, UK
14. Jean-Jacques AMY,, Emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Vrije
Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
15. Eric David, Professeur émérite de droit international public, l’Université libre de
Bruxelles, Past President of the Centre for International Law (ULB),, Bruxelles,
16. Eric Windgassen, MRC.Psych, Consultant Psychiatrist (retired), UK
17. Fanny Polet, Viva la Salud, Director, Belgium
18. Franco Camandona, MD, Gynecologist, Ospedale Galliera, Genoa, Italy
19. Gianni Tiognoni, MD, Fondazione Lelio e Lisle Basso, Italy
20. Herman Deley, Ghent University, Belgium
21. Jan Gerris, MD, PhD, Ghent University, Belgium
22. Jane Gilbert M.A (Psychol), M.Sc (Clin Psych), C Psychol, AFBPsS, Consultant
Clinical Psychologist, UK
23. Jon Jureidini PhD, Prof. MBBS FRANZCP, Research Leader, Critical and Ethical
Mental Health (CEMH), The University of Adelaide, Australia
24. Leon Verbruggen, MD, PhD, retired professor of rheumatology, Vrije Universiteit
Brussel, Belgium.
25. Marina Rui, PHD, University of Genoa, Italy
26. Maxine Fookson, RN, MN, Portland, Oregon
27. Nozomi Takahashi. PhD, Inflammation Research Center, VIB-Ghent University,
28. Paola Manduca, Prof. Genetics, retired University of Genoa, Italy
29. Peadar O’Grady, ,MB, MPhil, MRCPsych, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, Dublin,
30. Prem Jeyapaul, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
31. Rachel Rubin, MD, MPH, Senior Medical Officer, Cook County Department of Public
Health, Forest Park, IL 60130, United States
32. Raija-Leena Punamäki Psychologist, Professor emerita, PhD., MEcon.Tampere
University, Finland
33. Ruchama Marton, MD, PHR, Israel
34. Sebastião Viola, MRCPsych,Consultant Psychiatrist, Cardiff, UK
35. Swee Ang, MD, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, UK
36. Tom Gibelthorpe Consultant Psychiatrist, Sheffield, UK
37. Tomasz Pierscionek, Psychiatrist, NHS, UK
38. Vincenzo Stefano Luisi, Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, Pisa, Italy
39. Vittorio Agnoletto, MD, Università degli Studi, Milano

Ongoing Closure of Gaza Crossings Impairs Health System and Threatens Hundreds of Patients’ Lives

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the ongoing closure of Gaza Crossings for the 2nd day consecutively, following the Israeli military offensive on Tuesday at dawn that has targeted civilian facilities, killed 16 Palestinians, including 4 children and 4 women, and injured 21 others who sustained various wounds. PCHR emphasizes that the continued closure of the crossings threatens the lives of hundreds of patients and weakens the already frail health system due to the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza Strip for 16 years.


According to PCHR’s follows-up, the closure of Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing has denied hundreds of cancer patients and others with serious diseases, whose treatment is unavailable at Gaza Strip’s hospital, travel to complete their treatment at hospitals in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, or in Israel, seriously endangering their lives. Yesterday, the 1st day of the closure, 142 cancer patients were unable to travel to receive and complete their treatment, including 5 serious and life-saving cases. Today, 136 patients have not been able to travel for treatment, including (3) serious cases. Additionally, the Israeli occupation authorities have refused to return the dead body of (H. N.), from northern Gaza Strip, who was receiving treatment at al-Mutala’ Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem and died today at dawn.



With the ongoing closure of Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing to patients with serious diseases, hundreds of patients face willful killing in light of Gaza health system’s inability to provide health services to these patients due to the lack of specialized medical staff and chronic shortage of medicines and medical supplies, particularly radiotherapy and laboratory materials necessary for conducting diagnostic tests.


Gaza hospitals suffer from acute shortage of drugs and medical supplies as the number of essential drugs at zero-stock reached 255 out of 522 types with a deficit rate of (43%), while the number of medical supplies at zero-stock reached 165 out of 853 essential types with a deficit rate of (19%). Moreover, for 18 months, the Israeli occupation authorities have banned the entry of a number of medical devices that are used in diagnosing and treating cancer patients, such as interventional radiology and ultrasound devices, in addition to some spare parts needed for the maintenance of inoperative devices.


Moreover, continuously closing “Kerem Shalom” Crossing, Gaza’s only commercial crossing, and banning the entry of medical supplies have inflicted serious repercussions on the lives of thousands of Gaza Strip patients and impeded the work of the medical personnel at the emergency departments, operating rooms, and intensive care units to provide health care for the wounded.


The ongoing closure of the crossings and ban on the entry of the necessary fuel supplies would force the Gaza’s only power plant to shut down, so civilians would face long hours of blackouts at houses and vital facilities, such as hospitals and infrastructure service facilities. It is also feared that catastrophic scenarios similar to those in the previous offensives would recur, such as cutting water supplies to citizens for long periods, and shutdown of desalination plants and wastewater treatment plant, that may lead to a serious health hazard due to sewage floods. And if exacerbated, this will lead to the outbreak of epidemics and diseases among citizens as well as the recontamination of the groundwater reservoir.


PCHR emphasizes that the closure of crossings is a form of collective punishment and is internationally prohibited and a clear violation of Article (33) of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Therefore PCHR:

  • Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under the Convention; to provide protection for Palestinian civilians who are subjected to war crimes by IOF, and to practice pressure on Israel to end use of collective punishment policy against the Gaza Strip population, including the closure of crossings that seriously jeopardizes civilians’ enjoyment of their economic and social rights.
  • Urges the international community to take immediate and urgent action to pressure Israel to open all crossings, allow the travel of patients for treatment abroad, and ensure the entry of drugs and medical equipment to Gaza Strip hospitals and fuel supplies to Gaza’s only power plant.
  • Believes that the international community’s silence policy towards the crime of the Israeli closure on Gaza has contributed to the deterioration of humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, as more than half of the population (53%) live in poverty, 64.4% are food insecure, and 80% are dependent on international aid.

progetti sostenuti con i fondi Otto per Mille della Chiesa Valdese

NWRG ha realizzato, o sta realizzando, i seguenti progetti sostenuti con i fondi Otto per Mille della Chiesa Valdese:
OPM/2021/22715 Sostegno allo screening per malattie infettive neonatali nella striscia di Gaza, Palestina, concluso. Contributo totale utilizzato per il progetto: € 43.065,22
Il progetto ha permesso di fornire al laboratorio del Ministero della Salute a Gaza i materiali per la diagnosi e cura delle sepsi neonatali nei reparti di cura intensiva neonatale, che, data la situazione di carenza attuale, ha reso necessario un intervento esterno per garantire la continuità di questo
servizio essenziale

OPM/2022/32180 Provvedere medicine essenziali e strumenti per salvare neonati immunocompromessi ed altri neonati a rischio a Gaza, Palestina, in corso di svolgimento.
Contributo totale assegnato al progetto: € 47.000,00
Il progetto prevede di procurare medicamenti (gamma immunoglobuline), necessari per la sopravvivenza di neonati ad alto rischio di morte perché immunocompromessi, e un ventilatore portatile, necessario per la ventilazione di neonati gravi che richiedono trasferimento in ospedali
specializzati. Il ventilatore è già stato consegnato all’unità di cura intensiva neonatale dell’Ospedale pediatrico Nasser di Gaza City, mentre per le immunoglobuline, dopo un lungo periodo di ricerca
dei necessari quantitativi di tale farmaco, attualmente di molto difficile reperimento, è prevista la consegna in tempi brevi.

LETTER TO URSULA VON DER LEYEN Posted in Statements | 8 May 2023


ECCP letter to Ursula von der Leyen concerning the statement issued on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

To the attention of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Dear Ms. von der Leyen,

We, a coalition of 42 European organisations, write to express our deep concern and, frankly speaking, our anger, regarding your statement issued on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

Your statement ignored the historical fact that the State of Israel was founded on the ethnic cleansing of two thirds of the indigenous Palestinian people between 1947 and 1949. This fact has been well documented by Palestinian and Israeli historians and researchers. Palestinians commemorate this period as the Nakba (‘catastrophe’ in Arabic) that marks the beginning of the process of planned dispossession and expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people.

More than 500 towns and villages were systematically destroyed and depopulated by massacre and mass expulsion. As a result more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly exiled and became refugees. Many of those refugees and their descendants still languish in impoverished refugee camps, denied their inherent and UN-stipulated right of return after 75 years. This dispossession process, what Palestinians call the “ongoing Nakba” has never ended. It continues today, as Israel continues to occupy and annex Palestinian land, steal resources, demolish homes, schools and hospitals, and arbitrarily arrest, injure and kill Palestinians, including women and children.

By omitting facts and by blindly adopting the narrative of Israel, you erase the history, memory and rich culture of the Indigenous Palestinian people, with their diversity, who have inhabited Palestine for centuries. By endorsing the narrative that “Israel made the desert bloom” you replace history with myth, employing a colonial trope that attempts to ‘greenwash’ Israel’s settler colonial and apartheid regime over the Indigenous Palestinian people. Such ignorance is not expected from the president of the European Commission.

Since the beginning of 2023, the world has again witnessed an increase in Israeli attacks on Palestinians, including military raids carried out by the Israeli military in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Jericho and Nablus. These preceded the pogrom in Huwara and its neighbouring villages and the violent raid on worshippers in the Al Aqsa mosque during the month of Ramadan just three weeks before your statement. Is this the country you praise for its “dynamism” and shared “culture and values”?

It is painful to hear you praise “the 75 years of dynamism, ingenuity, and ground-breaking innovations” of a state that imposes a repressive, racist, and brutally violent settler-colonial policy on a population that it subjugates and controls. Israel’s regime of control over the Palestinian people is increasingly recognised as constituting apartheid by major human rights organisations, including Israeli human rights organisations. True, Israel has developed “a dynamic, ingenious and ground-breaking” technology in the field of military, cyber warfare, spyware, disinformation and election rigging by using the captive Palestinians under its control as test objects. Israel is one of the world’s leading exporters of these destructive high-tech products, with its military and “security” exports enabling dictatorships and authoritarian regimes worldwide to perpetrate grave human rights violations.

Your racist statement not only betrays historical facts and reality on the ground, but also directly contradicts internationally accepted principles and norms and the very values on which the EU is based. By ignoring the existence of the Palestinian people who have lived under decades of Israeli oppression or enforced exile, you ignore their right to self-determination, an inalienable right enshrined in the UN charter.

In December 2022 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba. This historic resolution, although shamefully only supported by two EU member states, acknowledges the 75 years of injustice inflicted upon Palestinian people. As the president of the European Commission, an institution that claims to uphold international law and the authority of the UN, you cannot sideline the decisions of the UN General Assembly.

On May 9th the EU will celebrate Europe Day, which Palestinians are boycotting this year because of your statement. We sincerely hope that this celebration may be in the spirit of recognising, and repenting for, the past racist and colonial history of EU countries, and that Europe Day will celebrate the UN charter which ensued from this history. That would obviously imply that the EU would stop paying service in words and in deeds to the values and policies of Israel, which itself rejects in words and in deeds the common UN charter.

Palestinian civil society organisations, as well as the Palestinian Authority, have vehemently denounced your statement. Amnesty International has also criticised the statement, and urged you to recognise that Israel is committing the crime against humanity of apartheid. We, in the European civil society, wholeheartedly echo them.

We demand that you retract your statement, and issue an apology to the Palestinian people for publicly erasing their culture, history and civilisation, as well as turning a blind eye to the violations currently being committed against their inalienable rights.

We demand that the EU publicly recognises that Israel is committing the Crime of Apartheid, and that EU institutions act to immediately end all complicity in the commission of this crime. We also kindly request that you answer this letter.


Pubblicato /Dichiarazioni | 8 maggio 2023

Lettera dell’ECCP a Ursula von der Leyen in merito alla dichiarazione rilasciata in occasione del 75° anniversario della fondazione dello Stato di Israele.

All’attenzione di: Ursula von der Leyen, Presidente della Commissione Europea

Gentile signora von der Leyen,

Noi, una coalizione di 42 organizzazioni europee, scriviamo per esprimere la nostra profonda preoccupazione e, francamente, la nostra rabbia, in merito alla sua dichiarazione rilasciata in occasione del 75° anniversario della fondazione dello Stato di Israele.

La sua dichiarazione ha ignorato il fatto storico che lo Stato di Israele è stato fondato sulla pulizia etnica di due terzi del popolo palestinese indigeno tra il 1947 e il 1949. Questo fatto è stato ben documentato da storici e ricercatori palestinesi e israeliani. I palestinesi commemorano questo periodo come la Nakba (“catastrofe” in arabo) che segna l’inizio del processo di espropriazione pianificata ed di espulsione della maggioranza del popolo palestinese.

Più di 500 città e villaggi furono allora sistematicamente distrutti e spopolati con massacri ed espulsioni di massa. Di conseguenza più di 750.000 palestinesi furono esiliati con la forza e divennero profughi. Molti di quei rifugiati e dei loro discendenti languono ancora in campi profughi impoveriti, e gli è stato negato il diritto al ritorno un diritto intrinseco e sancito dalle Nazioni Unite dopo 75 anni. Questo processo di spoliazione, quello che i palestinesi chiamano la “Nakba in corso”, non è mai terminato. Continua oggi, mentre Israele continua ad occupare e annettere terra palestinese, rubare risorse, demolire case, scuole e ospedali e arrestare, ferire e uccidere arbitrariamente palestinesi, comprese donne e bambini.

Omettendo i fatti storici e adottando ciecamente la narrazione di Israele, lei cancella la storia, la memoria e la ricca cultura del popolo indigeno palestinese, con la sua diversità, e che ha abitato la Palestina per secoli. Sostenendo la narrazione secondo cui “Israele ha fatto fiorire il deserto”, sostituisci la storia con il mito, impiegando un tropo coloniale che tenta di “rinverdire” il regime coloniale e di apartheid dei coloni israeliani sul popolo indigeno palestinese. Non ci si aspetta una tale ignoranza dal presidente della Commissione europea.

Dall’inizio del 2023, il mondo ha nuovamente assistito a un aumento degli attacchi israeliani contro i palestinesi, compresi i raid militari effettuati dall’esercito israeliano nelle città della Cisgiordania di Jenin, Gerico e Nablus. Questi hanno preceduto e seguito il pogrom a Huwara e nei villaggi vicini e il violento raid contro i fedeli nella moschea di Al Aqsa durante il mese di Ramadan, avvenuto appena tre settimane prima della sua dichiarazione. È questo il Paese che lei loda per il suo “dinamismo” e per la sua “cultura e per valori” condivisi?

È doloroso sentirla elogiare “i 75 anni di dinamismo, ingegnosità e innovazioni pionieristiche” di uno stato che impone una politica coloniale repressiva, razzista e brutalmente violenta su una popolazione che soggioga e controlla. Il regime di controllo di Israele sul popolo palestinese è sempre più riconosciuto come costitutivo dell’esercizio di apartheid da parte delle principali organizzazioni per i diritti umani, comprese le organizzazioni israeliane per i diritti umani. È vero, Israele ha sviluppato una tecnologia “dinamica, ingegnosa e rivoluzionaria” nel campo dell’esercito, della guerra informatica, dello spyware, della disinformazione e dei brogli elettorali usando i palestinesi prigionieri sotto il suo controllo come cavie. Israele è uno dei principali esportatori mondiali di distruttivi prodotti ad alta tecnologia, con le sue esportazioni militari e di “sicurezza” che consentono a dittature e regimi autoritari in tutto il mondo di perpetrare a loro volta gravi violazioni dei diritti umani.

La sua dichiarazione razzista non solo tradisce i fatti storici e la realtà sul campo, ma contraddice anche direttamente i principi e le norme accettate a livello internazionale e gli stessi valori su cui si basa l’UE. Ignorando l’esistenza del popolo palestinese che ha vissuto decenni di oppressione israeliana o di esilio forzato, si ignora il suo diritto all’autodeterminazione, un diritto inalienabile sancito dalla Carta delle Nazioni Unite.

Nel dicembre 2022 l’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite ha adottato una risoluzione per commemorare la Nakba palestinese. Questa storica risoluzione, sebbene vergognosamente solo due Stati membri dell’UE la abbiano sostenuta, riconosce i 75 anni di ingiustizia inflitta al popolo palestinese. In qualità di presidente della Commissione europea, un’istituzione che afferma di sostenere il diritto internazionale e l’autorità delle Nazioni Unite, non può certo mettere da parte le decisioni dell’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite.

Il 9 maggio l’UE celebrerà la Giornata dell’Europa, che quest’anno i palestinesi stanno boicottando proprio a causa della sua dichiarazione. Ci auguriamo sinceramente che questa celebrazione possa essere nello spirito del riconoscimento e del pentimento per la passata storia razzista e coloniale dei paesi dell’UE e che la Giornata dell’Europa celebri la Carta delle Nazioni Unite che è derivata per superare da questa storia. Ciò implicherebbe ovviamente che l’UE smettesse di servire con parole e fatti i valori e le politiche di Israele, che a sua volta rifiuta a parole e con i fatti la carta comune delle Nazioni Unite.

Le organizzazioni della società civile palestinese, così come l’Autorità palestinese, hanno denunciato con veemenza la sua dichiarazione. Anche Amnesty International ha criticato la dichiarazione e vi ha esortato a riconoscere che Israele sta commettendo il crimine contro l’umanità dell’apartheid. Noi, nella società civile europea, facciamo eco con tutto il cuore.

Le chiediamo di ritirare la sua dichiarazione e di scusarsi con il popolo palestinese per aver pubblicamente cancellato la sua cultura, storia e civiltà, oltre a chiudere un occhio sulle violazioni attualmente commesse contro i suoi diritti inalienabili.

Chiediamo che l’UE riconosca pubblicamente che Israele sta commettendo il crimine di apartheid e che le istituzioni dell’UE agiscano per porre immediatamente fine a ogni complicità nella commissione di questo crimine.

BIP News #256: Francesca Albanese under fire A coordinated defamation campaign against the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine

Two Israeli ministries are coordinating a smear campaign against the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Francesca Albanese. The personal attacks are based on lies aimed at removing her from office.
Israeli “Hasbara” organizations discredit the role of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. Hasbara is the Israeli propaganda campaign (see BIP Update #174). The Office of the Special Rapporteur was created by the United Nations to monitor and document human rights violations committed by Israel against Palestinians. The office, which is honorary, was held by Michael Lynk from 2016 to 2022 and is currently held by Francesca Albanese.
Albanese states that the State of Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. Israel, she says, is a settler colonial state that has yet to be held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Albanese, like her predecessors, has faced fierce opposition since taking office in May 2022. In December, the Israeli government’s Hasbara platform, ACT-IL, stepped up the attack on her when it launched a campaign discriminating against Albanese, calling for her removal from office; a similar petition on followed.
Earlier this month, the campaign escalated into a shitstorm of simultaneously published inflammatory articles and tweets. The recently reopened Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs (source in Hebrew) funds NGOs to indirectly spread Israeli narratives without any apparent Israeli government involvement. So does NGO Monitor, the organization also behind the fabrication of evidence against six Palestinian civil society organizations (see BIP Update #193) as well as the International Legal Forum (ILF).
Several hateful articles accusing Albanese of anti-Semitism were published between April 9 and 12 in the Times of Israel (which amplified the petition against Albanese), World Israel News, the Washington Free Beacon, Jewish News Syndicate, European Jewish Press, The Jerusalem Post, and The Foreign Desk. The articles coincided with a Twitter campaign pressuring UN Secretary General Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk to fire Albanese.
The articles contained outright lies, accused Albanese of anti-Semitism without any evidence, and claimed she had “incited Hamas to violence” for misrepresenting a conference she had attended as one “sponsored by Hamas.” In addition, she had “endorsed anti-Jewish terrorism” because Albanese had affirmed the Palestinians’ right to self-defense.
Carinne Luck, International Director of the Diaspora Alliance, told BIP:
“The relentless campaign by the Israeli government and its supporters to undermine the application of Universal Human Rights and the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the name of combating anti-Semitism not only harms Palestinians and Israelis, but also does nothing to protect the rights and security of Jewish people. Conflating anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel in this way only makes it harder to recognize anti-Semitism when it occurs.”
The Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs joined the Ministry of Strategic Affairs on April 14 when Minister Amichai Chikli revealed that the Israeli government is actively involved in the campaign. Chikli is an openly racist politician who voted against his Jamina party under the previous Israeli government after it agreed to form a coalition with an Arab Palestinian party. Because of his racist and anti-democratic views, a large demonstration was organized against Chikli in Berlin, which preempted his attendance at the International Conference on Anti-Semitism. He flew back to Israel without attending the event (source in Hebrew).

Nicola Perugini, associate professor of international relations at the University of Edinburgh, told BIP:
“The attempt to justify the conquest and expropriation of land as an act of self-defense is a recurring feature of settler colonial regimes. Since the 1960 UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonized Countries and Peoples, the international community has agreed that colonialism must be ended and that colonized peoples have a right to resist. How can one defend what must be ended?”

Sid Shniad, founding member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada, told BIP:
“The late Knesset member Shulamit Aloni explained that supporters of Israel often respond to criticism of Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians by claiming that those who voice such criticism are engaging in anti-Semitism. The most recent use of this tactic is evident in the current campaign against Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Ms. Albanese is in good company, considering that several previous rapporteurs, as well as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have been subjected to the same smear campaign.”
Francesca Albanese is the first woman to serve as Special Rapporteur on Palestine. Her male predecessors, Richard Falk, John Dugaard, and the aforementioned Michael Lynk, were also sharply attacked by Israeli officials and pro-Israel groups – to that extent, this targeted and forceful attempt against Francesaca Albanese is a continuation of Israel’s previous strategy.
The attack on Albanese cannot be viewed in isolation from the misogyny prevalent in the Israeli far-right government. This is expressed in the low number of female ministers, in the government’s crackdown on women’s rights, which has alarmed feminist groups, and in the appointment of May Golan, a far-right activist who has publicly expressed his desire for leftist women to be “raped by ni***ers” (source in Hebrew).
The current hate campaign against Francesca Albanese coincides with the month of Ramadan, which is holy for Muslims, during which Israeli forces attacked worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, desecrating the mosque and violating Muslims’ religious freedom. Instead of responding to Special Rapporteur Albanese’s legitimate criticisms, the Israeli government is now trying to reframe tensions with Palestinians into a religious conflict and denounce as anti-Semites anyone who advocates for Palestinian rights.

Francesca Albanese told BIP:
“This is neither the first nor the last time that my mandate and my person will be attacked. An apartheid regime, as confirmed by the international legal framework, can persecute those individuals and organizations that oppose it. I must remain focused on my work and the millions of people oppressed or affected by the occupation, as well as the many who are threatened around the world for denouncing it.”


The voluntary associations, humanitarian, political, religious and cultural organisations who have signed this document, in respect of the values enshrined in our Constitution and the Charter of International Rights


an end to the denigrating media campaign carried out against those who, holding international institutional roles or being members of non-governmental organisations, have dared to bring to the general attention, the role and repressive policies of the government of Israel towards the Palestinian people.

It is not as of today that the worst right-wing, colonialist and racist Zionism, now firmly in power in Israel, rages against anyone who dares to question the democracy of the State of Israel, which, in reality, has nothing to do with the democratic and anti-Zionist Jewish people living inside and outside those territories.

The infamous accusations of anti-Semitism, used by the leaders and supporters of the Zionist movement against the UN special rapporteur for the occupied territories, the Italian lawyer Francesca Albanese, and against Dr. Tina Marinari, campaigns coordinator for Amnesty International Italy, defender of International and Democratic Law, offend above all the Jewish religious sentiment of that people.

The accusation: having documented and denounced the policies used to impose the military occupation of the land of Palestine. This policy is however confirmed daily by the indiscriminate use of all the coercive means that each army of occupation has always deployed to impose the will of the invaders on the invaded, and by the apartheid regime that oppresses the Palestinian people.

It is from the columns of Il Giornale (italian newspaper) of 18 April 2023 that Fiamma Nirenstein, who has never concealed her right-wing political sympathies, accuses Francesca Albanese of anti-Semitism, explicitly asking the UN for her dismissal, arguing that the Israeli army has been there since 1967 to defend from Arab ‘terrorists’ the sacrosanct ‘right’ of the settlers to take back (after 2000 years…) the land that belongs to them by divine will, because that is how it is written in the Bible.

Fiamma Nirenstein makes the case for censorship made at the UN by the “four thousand lawyers of the International Legal Forum”. An organisation based in Tel Aviv, with branches in many Western countries. A denigrating intervention also reinforced by the statements by the Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Anti-Semitism, Amichai Chikli, who claims that “allowing Ms. Albanese to continue to spread hate, anti-Semitism and incitement to violence, does not fulfil its mandate to protect the fundamental human rights of all and to exercise equal treatment for all member states’. Hence the alleged necessity of the removal of Francesca Albanese, requested in a letter addressed to UN Secretary General António Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk (Jerusalem Post, 19 April 2023).

The instrumental use of the accusation of anti-Semitism, and in particular of the immense tragedy of the Holocaust that involved the entire Jewish people, is not based on any evidence, and has the sole political function of wanting to disguise, by discrediting, the colonial and systematic apartheid that the State of Israel applies to the Palestinian people, with a dangerous escalation, attributable to the current extreme right-wing government, which is risking of seriously endangering Israel’s very existence.

Suffice it to observe the increase in incidents of violence that have occurred in recent days on the occasion of Easter, including against Orthodox Christian minorities and against Christian minorities, violence widely denounced by Mgr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

The attack on Francesca Albanese and Tina Marinari is unacceptable to us, especially because of the importance of the organisations to which they belong, aimed at defending International Law – the UN – and active in the humanitarian and democratic field – Amnesty International. All our respect goes to these organisations.

A respect that, conversely, the State of Israel has never shown, as is confirmed not only by Israel’s failure to implement the countless UN resolutions against the policy of colonial expansion, but also by the continuous violation of International Law, also vilified through the systematic preventive bombardment of a sovereign state like Syria, without even the political dignity of declaring war, but with coward and reckless aggression.

The truth is that, after years of research, work, analysis, both the Apartheid Report by Amnesty International, presented by Dr Tina Marinari, and the one produced for the UN by Francesca Albanese, have highlighted that the Israeli authorities must be called to account for the crime of apartheid against the Palestinians.

The massive requisitions of land and property, illegal killings, forced relocations, drastic restrictions on movement and the denial of nationality and citizenship to the Palestinians, highlight Israel’s system of oppression and domination of the Palestinian population. They are acts that fuel a system that, under international law, constitutes apartheid, and which, according to Amnesty International, is based “on human rights violations” and, therefore, is a crime against humanity; so defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Apartheid Convention.

The UN Charter speaks clearly, also stating that any people, including the Palestinian people, has the right to resist a foreign invasion and that it cannot be the invader the one who decides what resistance is legitimate, starting with the non-violent one of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) promoted by civil society.

That is why the time has come for not only the media, but all the democratic society, to open their eyes to the truth and act so that the abuses stop as soon as possible. A stop that can only happen if the rights of the Palestinian people are recognised and practised, including the right of return of refugees, just as those of the Israeli people are recognised.

azione urgente a difesa di Francesca Albanesa e Tina Marinari


c’è un nuovo impulso  della campagna contro la relatrice speciale delle Nazioni Unite su Palestina Israele, Francesca Albanese.

la nostra opinione è che in questo momento in cui il suo secondo rapporto sarà presto reso noto e mentre il volto nascosto dell’Israele democratico è in mostra per la sua violenza sui palestinesi e la continua espansione sul territorio, questa campagna non deve essere considerata come un lampo transitorio, ma sarà uno sforzo massimo da parte del governo israeliano.

La campagna, pur decollando ora sulla stampa e tra i parlamentari in Italia, si estenderà o si sta già estendendo a tutto il mondo.

Una petizione in change org dell’International legal forum che chiede la rimozione dell’Albanese mira ad aggregare anche professionisti del diritto di tutto il mondo, una strategia spesso intrapresa per demonizzare anche professionalmente il bersaglio.

Come società civile in Italia è stata lanciato una petizione in change org, che trovi  qui


CALL FOR EMERGENCY ACTION: Tell your MFA to hold Israel accountable for its attack on Palestinians and act for the protection of Palestinian people!

Since the beginning of 2023, three deadly raids have been carried out by the Israeli military in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Jericho and Nablus. These preceded the pogrom in Huwara and its neighboring villages. At the time of writing, 84 Palestinians have been killed by either Israeli occupation forces or illegal colonial settlers; an average of one person killed every day of 2023, 15 of them were children. This goes hand in hand with an increase in expulsions, house demolitions and a settlement expansion.

There must be a political and economic price attached to Israel’s systematic oppression of Palestinians. The reaction of the international community to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows us that such punitive actions are possible when there is political will to undertake them. Yet that will has been absent when it comes to the rights of Palestinians.

Tangible actions, including lawful sanctions, are the only way to compel Israel to comply with international law, to cease human rights violations, and to ensure protection of Palestinians.

Please send a message below to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ask them to uphold international law and impose sanctions on Israel for its attack on Palestinians.


Send this message to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs! (click on the name of your country below to send the message).