JERUSALEM — Israel is lashing out at the European Union for its “patronizing” approach of marking International Human Rights Day with an exhibit critical of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said on Tuesday that for some reason E.U. representatives “believe that the way to Israelis’ hearts is by spitting in their faces.”

He says the approach of “preaching hypocritical, condescending morality” will backfire, calling it “sad and superfluous.”

The E.U. plans to mark the day together with the B’Tselem human right group, among the foreign-funded anti-occupation advocacy groups Israel has been trying to crack down on.

The government has shunned foreign dignitaries who meet such groups and is pushing for legislation to curb their funding. Israel considers the groups to be slanderous toward the country.