Human rights defenders urging Germany’s Brückepreis to withdraw 2020 award from an Israeli politician

Human rights defenders are urging Germany’s Brückepreis to withdraw their 2020 award from Tzipi Livni, an Israeli politician who has bragged about her role in war crimes against Palestinians.

The citation for the Bridge Prize, as it is known in English, says that Livni is being honored for promoting “free thinking, democracy, openness and humanity” and for “her freedom-oriented peace policy.”

The prize is given to individuals who have dedicated their life’s work to democracy and peaceful understanding among peoples and comes with a cash award of $2,800.

But far from promoting peace, Livni is accused of involvement in “war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the blockaded Gaza Strip” when she was Israel’s foreign minister during its 2008-2009 assault on Gaza, the human rights group Euro-Med Monitor wrote in a letter to Brückepreis president Willi Xylander on Tuesday.

Livni “worked relentlessly during the internationally condemned operation to whitewash Israel’s assault on Gaza’s civilian population,” the letter adds, noting that the Israeli attack took 1,400 Palestinian lives, the vast majority civilians.

“Real hooliganism”

Nor has Livni been shy about her role in and support for the Gaza massacre.

She told Israeli media in January 2009: “Israel demonstrated real hooliganism during the course of the recent operation, which I demanded.”

The Goldstone Report, the independent UN-commissioned inquiry into the assault, also quotes Livni stating: “Israel is not a country upon which you fire missiles and it does not respond. It is a country that when you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild – and this is a good thing.”

And instead of promoting democracy, Livni has supported the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel in order to make Israel’s population more purely Jewish.

A former justice minister, Livni also told Palestinian negotiators, “I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general.”

That is hardly the record of someone who deserves recognition for contributing to international peace and understanding.

Pursued for war crimes

On several occasions, Livni has had to evade arrest or questioning by judicial authorities seeking to investigate her for war crimes, in the UKSwitzerland and Belgium.

Giving the Brückepreis to an Israeli politician accused of war crimes would “contribute to whitewashing the crimes of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians” and could “further incentivize Israeli politicians to escalate atrocities against Palestinians when knowing that such brutalities wouldn’t affect their international standing,” Euro-Med Monitor adds.

Yet in Germany, sadly, elites continue to believe that providing unconditional support for Israel no matter what crimes it commits and fawning praise for Israeli war criminals, are forms of atonement for the German government’s murder of millions of European Jews.

The real lesson from Germany’s crimes ought to be that no one should escape accountability for war crimes, and that includes Tzipi Livni.

(Source: The Electronic Intifada)


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