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Irish activist accuses European Commission head of ‘enabling genocide’ in Gaza

April 18, 2024 at 1:18 pm

President of EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen attends the EU Leaders Summit in Brussels, Belgium on 17 April, 2024 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

A prominent Irish activist and author attempted on Wednesday to put European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen under “citizen’s arrest” and accused her of “enabling genocide” in Gaza.

“In my opinion, Ursula von der Leyen should actually be arrested by the real law and order authorities for enabling the genocide in Gaza,” David Cronin told Anadolu. “Genocide is regarded as the worst possible crime. And she clearly did enable the genocide in Gaza with the trip she made in October, and indeed by subsequent statements that she had reiterated her total solidarity for Israel as it commits genocide in Gaza.”

Cronin emphasised that he decided to stand against von der Leyen and her support for Israel when he was invited to the European Defence and Security Summit in Brussels at which she was speaking.

“I became even more convinced that I had to do something when I woke up this morning,” he explained. “The first message I got was from a journalist in Gaza, who lives in Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of Gaza. And he had a very distressed message about the children who were killed by Israel, a whole group of children were killed by Israel yesterday while they were out playing.”

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Drawing attention to von der Leyen’s support for Israel since 7 October, Cronin added: “It’s very interesting that when the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its genocide in Gaza at the end of January, it cited the fact that senior Israeli political figures displayed genocidal intent, and Ursula von der Leyen did not express any disapproval whatsoever about their statements.”

By doing so, he said, von der Leyen allowed Israel to buy some time to “commit massacres,” without coming under international pressure to stop those massacres.

Cronin is also an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada, a website focused on Palestine, and a prominent voice on the Israel-Palestine issue. He interrupted von der Leyen’s speech at the summit on Wednesday to make his accusations public. It is not the first time that Cronin carried out such an action. In the past, he also attempted a “citizen’s arrest” of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

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