The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has condemned the German Bridge Prize Society for giving its 2020 Award to former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The announcement was also condemned by Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.
The Society announced that the award would go to Livni for her role in spreading the culture of peace in the Middle East. "Livni made a name for herself throughout the policy of peace," it said. Critics said that you couldn't make this scenario up, it was so ridiculous.
Hamas immediately condemned the move, and pointed out that Livni has the blood of more than 1,400 Palestinians on her hands. That is how many were killed during Israel's brutal 2008/9 military offensive against the civilians of the Gaza Strip. Livni was Israel's Foreign Minister at the time.
"It is shameful to grant such an international award to the war criminal Livni," said Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanou. "Such a step encourages Israel's criminal leaders to commit more crimes."
The Hamas official added that awarding the prize to Livni is a "desperate attempt to beatify the Israeli minister and acquit her of having Palestinian blood on her hands."
Euro-Med expressed its "serious concern" about the decision of the Bridge Prize Society to award the 2020 prize to Livni. "She stands accused of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the blockaded Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead in 2008/9 when she was Israel's Foreign Minister. Livni worked relentlessly during the internationally-condemned offensive to whitewash Israel's assault on Gaza's civilian population."
The 2009 UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict concluded that the operation "was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability."
In December 2009, a British court issued an arrest warrant for Livni over her role in the attack on Gaza, forcing her to cancel a visit to London. As a direct result, and to its great shame, the British government later changed the law of universal jurisdiction to accommodate war criminals such as Israeli political and military officials.
Moreover, in 2017 Livni cancelled a visit to Brussels after learning that Belgian prosecutors wanted to question her over allegations of war crimes in the 2008-9 Israeli offensive.
"In that context," said Euro-Med, "we would like to emphasise that granting such a prize to an Israeli politician who stands accused of war crimes essentially helps to whitewash all of the crimes committed by Israel throughout its occupation of Palestine."