The European Civic Forum is a network of more than one hundred associations across the continent.
ECF defends the civic freedoms of association, assembly and demonstration. It is committed to the recognition of the essential role played by democratic civil society organizations, popular participation and active citizenship in protecting and exercising democracy and rights in Europe.
Every day, we defend universal rights and the rule of law, enshrined and established in national and international law, which protect people and communities from arbitrariness and barbarism.
It is from this specific point of view that, filled with grief, dismay, and indignation at the horror we have been witnessing for more than a month in the Middle East, after the terrorist Hamas attack in Israel with the killing of 1200 Israelis and over two hundred people taken hostage, followed by the Israeli military operations in Gaza with over 15,000 Palestinians killed as of 29 November, more than a third of whom are children, we demand that the European Union acts for:
- the full respect of humanitarian law, which even during conflicts requires respect for the life and fundamental rights of civilians to food, water, medical and health care, and a dignified life; prohibits indiscriminate sieges and bombardments; prohibits settlements in occupied territories, deportations, violence and illegal arrests; requires occupiers to guarantee life and rights to the occupied populations;
- the full compliance with international law, which prohibits occupations, recognises the right to legitimate resistance of the occupied peoples, and at the same time prohibits the use of terror and unlawful violence;
- the full respect of the freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression in the EU, globally, in Israel and in the West Bank, according to international law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
We demand that the European Union commits to act for a generalised and immediate ceasefire throughout the region, to prevent new victims and additional destruction in Gaza, for the release of the Israeli hostages, and for international negotiations aimed at implementing UN resolutions that recognise the full right of Israelis and Palestinians to life, security, land, freedom and sovereignty.
We stand with all those – individuals, organisations, and NGOs – in Israel and Palestine who strive for a just peace, freedom and democracy; challenging war, violence and the repression of the right to dissent.
And we stand with all those who, in the EU, are victims of islamophobia, and antisemitism as well as those who are denied the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration.