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The Unbreakable Bond of Ireland and Palestine

Among European nations, Ireland has been one of the most vocal in its support of the Palestinian national struggle

By Creede Newton

Global Research,

In December, a wave of support for the recognition of a Palestinian state swept over Europe, culminating in the European Parliament’s (EP) vote on a motion that expressed support for an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and a continuation of stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The motion, largely symbolic, passed with 498 EU parliamentarians voting in favour, 88 voting against, and 111 abstaining.

While it does not require any concrete action on the part of any European Union (EU) member state, certain EU member states, such as Sweden and Ireland, have taken steps towards formal recognition of Palestine.

Ireland in particular has been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause. The origins of this solidarity come down to both the similarities and differences between the Irish and Palestinian national struggles.

‘Colonised people’

“The Irish people, as a colonised people living for centuries under British occupation, have instinctively identified with freedom struggles across the globe,” Gerry Adams, Irish republican and president of Sinn Féin, the largest Irish nationalist party in both the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland that still belong to the United Kingdom (UK), told Middle East Eye.

The entangled history of the UK and Ireland began in the 12th century, when Norman invaders reached the island. In 1541, the English parliament formally declared that English King Henry VIII was also the king of Ireland.

That was the beginning of several centuries of English and Scottish Protestants migrating to the majority Catholic island and taking power from the indigenous population. This set the stage for sectarian conflict that would flare up over the course of the following years.

In the second half of the 19th century, nationalist movements began picking up steam and by 1922, the Green Island was split into 26 counties that were to be ruled from Dublin as part of an independent Ireland, and six that would be ruled from Belfast, still part of the UK.

In the late 1960s, the conflict known as “The Troubles” began, with militants seeking the reunification of Ireland attacking military and civilian targets, and the British army and Protestant militants responding in kind. Adams himself recounted his own memories of political activism and protest for the reunification of Ireland, and against apartheid South Africa, in the 1960s.

Speaking critically of the current Israeli government, he said their “strategies and actions are aimed at imposing an apartheid system on Arab-Israeli citizens; extending the occupation through the building of settlements in the occupied territories, as well as the separation wall; and physically and politically dividing Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza and the refugee camps in other states.”

The current state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process also troubles him, he said. In December, Israel denied Adams entry to the besieged Gaza Strip, and upon his return to Ireland, he was “deeply worried”.

“I am particularly concerned at the approach of the international community,” he told MEE, “which fails to hold the Israeli government to account for its actions and its breaches of international law.”

The role of prisoners

In Ireland, prisoners jailed by the British played “an important role”, according to Adams, and Palestinian prisoners play an important role, too.

But Gavan Kelley, the advocacy unit coordinator of Ramallah-based Addameer, a non-governmental human rights group that focuses on political and civil rights issues in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially those of prisoners, thinks that those imprisoned in Israeli jails can play an even greater role.

“Overall [Addameer] is in a very difficult situation. We want to get to a stage where prisoners are playing a role in ending the conflict,” he told MEE. “That’s the exact opposite of what’s happening now.”

As of October 2014, there were approximately 6,500 Palestinian prisoners, including roughly 500 administrative detainees—those who are held in Israeli prisons without charge. Their six-month sentences can be renewed indefinitely by judges on the basis of “secret” evidence.

Other than prominent Palestinian leaders, such as Ahmad Saadat of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or Fatah’s Marwan Barghouti, most prisoners serve their sentences in silence.

Kelley says that prisoners “are being completely excluded and used as political bargaining chips” in negotiations between Israel and Hamas, as well as the Palestinian Authority.

The human rights of prisoners in Israeli jails are routinely violated, Kelley said, much like those of Irish prisoners during the conflict with the UK.  “You have daily rights violations of the prisoners. Medical negligence, malnourishment, nightly raids by the Israeli forces,” he said.

Kelley echoed Sinn Féin’s leader in saying that prisoners were instrumental in ending the conflict.

“If you look at Ireland and South Africa,” Kelley said, “prisoners played a central role in ending those conflicts.”

But looking at the current situation in the Holy Land,

“the political conditions that brought an end to the conflicts in Ireland and South Africa are nowhere near existing here in Palestine,” Kelley concluded.

United Efforts

Meanwhile, many Palestinians are grateful for international solidarity, which some view as instrumental in their own struggle.

“International solidarity is vital for more than one reason,” Najwan Berekdar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and activist, told MEE.

“Not only that gives hope for the Palestinians to continue their struggle knowing they have support, but it also brings our struggles closer together, as we have been learning new tactics which were used by colonised people everywhere.”

The popular techniques used by the Irish and South Africans serve to envigorate Palestinian efforts to resist Israeli occupation, have led to innovative and interesting protests, some of which, such as the “Love in the Time of Apartheid” campaign, Berekdar organised.

“This is what will affect the public opinion. And this is what will pressure Israel and its supporting governments to change their policies.”

Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege: Worldwide Solidarity this Weekend

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, Ireland0 Comments

The EU should support Irish reunification, Mary Lou McDonald tells BBC

The Sinn Féin leader also said the British government needs to start preparing itself for this constitutional change.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald has said she will be asking the European Union to support Irish reunification if she is part of the next government.

Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight in Dublin, McDonald said, even before this election the country was heading towards a border poll.

“You have Brexit, you have changing demographics, you have the fact that the unionist majority has been lost in the North over the last number of elections, so that is the direction of travel,” she said. 

She said it was irresponsible for politicians not to “bury their heads in the sand” on this issue.Whoever now makes up the next government, those preparations need to start. And could I also say those on the island of Britain and in London in particular need to start preparing because constitutional change is coming.

McDonald said she would be making asks of the European system in terms of long-term Irish interests and on the issue of partition.

“I think the European Union needs to take a stand in respect of Ireland in the say way that it supported the reunification of Germany, in the same way that it has a position on Cyprus, for example, and a positive approach to the reunification of that country.I think Ireland is no different.

“I think it would be correct for our allies and our friends for anybody who cares about this country and our people, it is plain to see that partition and division has been a disaster, and that reunification, reconciliation and good relationships with our next door neighbours is the way forward.”

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Real and “Fake” Elections: US, Bolivia, Ireland

By: Global Research,

Bolivian Elections Will be an Opportunity to Legalize the Coup

By Lucas Leiroz de Almeida,

The next Bolivian presidential elections were scheduled for May 3. The scenario in the country remains troubled, marked by the unrest and tensions created by the coup that led to the overthrow of Evo Morales. On the one hand, candidates from the right stand up enthusiastically with the intention of neutralizing any possible resurrection of the left. On the other hand, Morales, although with undeniable popular support, currently does not seem to have enough strength to face the right forces.

Bolivia: An Election in the Midst of an Ongoing CoupBy Prof. Vijay Prashad, February 14, 2020Morales was prematurely removed from office; the term for his 2014 presidential election victory did not end until January. Yet, he was told by the military to leave office. An interim president – Jeanine Áñez – appointed herself.

Black Democrats Endorse Bloomberg after Release of Racist Boasts on “Stop-and-frisk”

By Niles Niemuth,

“Stop-and-frisk” empowers New York Police Department officers to stop anyone on the street without suspicion of a crime and search and interrogate the individual in public view. Under Bloomberg, the police on patrol operated as armed roving gangs, who assaulted millions of working-class New Yorkers, mostly targeting black and Hispanic men simply for walking down the street.

2020 US Elections: The Top Issue for Democratic Voters Is …

By Eric Zuesse,

In 2016, Democrats nominated the neoconservative Hillary Clinton in order to move the Party even farther to the right, only to find themselves winning California by the astronomical margin of 4,269,978 votes more than Trump received, and losing all other 49 states by the still-substantial margin of 1,405,002 votes to Hillary.

Irish Election Result Is a Victory for Nationalism

By Johanna Ross,

Once upon a time Gerry Adams, the leader of Ireland’s nationalist party, Sinn Fein, could not be heard speaking on the BBC. He was branded a terrorist and his voice was dubbed. How times have changed. Now his party, led by Mary Lou McDonald, has stormed to victory in the Irish elections. Having won the largest percentage of the vote at 24%, Sinn Fein has ended the decades long domination of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in what was effectively a two-party political system.

Iowa: Where The Democrats’ DNC Dreams Go to Die. Bernie, The “Trumpian Front Runner”

By Brett Redmayne-Titley,

After months of the DNC’s daily water boarding of the American public with their manufactured jurisprudence know as The Impeachment, these same political wizards of electioneering have in one day, Monday, galvanized the person they most detest. This week’s political disaster in Iowa rocketed Bernie Sanders into pronounced Trumpian front runner status and thus exposed the DNC – yet again- for what it really is:A cabal of status quo elitists no different than the RNC puppets they purport to oppose.

Democrats Seek to Suppress Sanders Victory in Iowa

By Patrick Martin,

The effort by the Democratic Party establishment to conceal or suppress reports of Senator Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Iowa caucuses reached a new stage Thursday with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to “immediately begin a recanvass” of the state.

The twitter statement by Perez came only hours after the final figures from the Iowa Democratic Party showed Sanders more than 6,000 votes ahead of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the February 3 caucuses, and behind by only two “state delegate equivalents,” out of 2,152, in the process that will lead to the awarding of Iowa’s delegates to the Democratic national convention.

Posted in USA, Bolivia, Ireland0 Comments

Ireland’s biggest parties vow to ban goods made in illegal ‘Israeli’ settlements

Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail, who are leading in the polls ahead of Saturday’s election, have said they will enact the Occupied Territories Bill

The bill seeks to ban the import or sale of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements (File photo/Reuters)

Two of Ireland’s biggest political parties have said that if they win Saturday’s general election they will implement a ban on the purchase of goods and services from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail have both indicated in their manifestos that they wish to see the Occupied Territories Bill enacted.

The legislation, first tabled in 2018, would prohibit imports from territories where there is a clear international legal consensus on the status of the occupation.

As it stands, only the occupied Palestinian territories have been confirmed as occupied by the International Court of Justice.

2020 BDS: The unstoppable spread of moral judgement threatens IsraelRead More »

According to its manifesto, Sinn Fein has said it will “ban goods from Israel’s illegal colonial settlements in Palestine from entering the Irish market by implementing the Occupied Territories Bill”.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail has said it would “progress the Occupied Territories Bill” in government.

If passed, the law would make Ireland the first European Union country to criminalise commercial activity in the settlements.

“We didn’t have to put it into our manifesto… but we insisted on doing so,” Niall Collins, a former foreign affairs spokesperson for Fianna Fail, told The Electronic Intifada.

The “next step in the process,” Collins said, would be the bill’s inclusion in a legislative programme that Fianna Fail agrees with another party – or parties – when forming a coalition.

“There are lots of issues relating to health, housing and homelessness here in Ireland. But our position on Palestine… is coming up on the doorsteps. People are showing a keen awareness of this issue.”

According to the latest opinion poll conducted ahead of the 8 February general election, Sinn Fein is leading with 24 percent, and Fianna Fail with 21 percent.

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, Ireland0 Comments

Exit poll confirms Sinn Féin election breakthrough

adamssings.jpg

The three main parties in the 26 Counties have polled the same vote share of just over 22 per cent in today’s general election, according to an exit poll released as polling closed this evening.If borne out, the results will be a historic result for Sinn Féin, which will achieve by far its best outcome ever in a general election.

The results of the poll are as follows: Fine Gael 22.4 per cent, Sinn Féin 22.3 per cent, Fianna Fáil 22.2 per cent, Green Party 7.9 per cent, Labour 4.6 per cent, the Social Democrats 3.4 per cent, Solidarity/People Before Profit/Rise/Socialist 2.8 per cent and independents/others 14.5 per cent.

In another measure of the transformation, Sinn Féin won the votes of more than 30% of those aged under 24.

While seat projections in this new scenario are difficult, Sinn Féin could hope to win more than 30 seats out of 159. Moreover, their surpluses could help to elect other left-wing or republican candidates in some constituencies.

The three-way tie means that another hung parliament in Dublin is certain. While nothing will be definite until noon tomorrow, when the parties’ tallies from the vote counts start to come in, difficult coalition negotiations are now more than likely, and a second election this year cannot be ruled out.

The result is also a clear public rejection of the anti-Sinn Féin and anti-republican media agenda of the election campaign. It will have repercussions for the entire political establishment, but particularly the state-run media and the conservative press.

As the polls closed, former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams criticised Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and elements of the media for what he said was a “nasty, negative campaign”.

He also uploaded a video of himself singing along with rebel song ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’, a comment on the outgoing right-wing government’s widely-criticised plans to commemorate forces who fought for British rule in Ireland a century ago. The furore last month helped set the stage for Sinn Féin’s successful election.

Remarking on the exit poll, he also wrote: “Well done everyone! Comgheardas [congratulations] Mary Lou and our leadership team. Martin McGuinness would be chuffed. Lean ar aghaigh. (Go ahead).”

Posted in Ireland0 Comments

Ireland to expel Nazi ambassador over protest deaths

NOVANEWS

Gerry Adams calls for Ireland to expel Israel ambassador over protest deaths

Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has called for Ireland to expel the Israeli ambassador over the killing and wounding of Palestinian protesters. (Brian Lawless/PA)Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has called for Ireland to expel the Israeli ambassador over the killing and wounding of Palestinian protesters. (Brian Lawless/

Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has called for Ireland to expel the Israeli ambassador over the killing and wounding of Palestinian protesters.

A least 15 Palestinians were killed on Friday as thousands protested the right of return for refugees.

Mr Adams said: “There can be no justification or excuse by Israel for the calculated slaughter by Israeli military snipers of unarmed Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border with Israel.

“I visited Gaza and the Israeli town of Sderot in 2009. The conditions for the almost two million Palestinians surviving in the Gaza strip were appalling. It is an open prison, under siege by Israel, with the people of Gaza being denied the basic requirements of a decent life,” he said.

“In the nine years since then the Israeli stranglehold on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has increased. More Palestinian land and water rights have been stolen and significant numbers of new Israeli settlements have been constructed on Palestinian land in flagrant breach of international law.”

Mr Adams said he was urging the EU and UN to take a stand against Israeli violence, and urged the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador “as a first step in formally and officially recognising the state of Palestine”.

“The time for excuses is long over,” he added.

Palestinian health officials said 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire and more than 750 hit by live rounds, making it the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 cross-border war between Israel and Hamas.

During Friday’s confrontations, large crowds gathered near the border fence, with smaller groups of protesters rushing forward, throwing stones and burning tyres.

Israeli troops responded with live fire and rubber-coated steel pellets, while drones dropped tear gas from above. The army released video showing soldiers with rifles perched on high embankments overlooking the scene.

Brig Gen Ronen Manelis, the chief army spokesman, denied allegations of excessive use of force, saying those killed by Israeli troops were men between the ages of 18 and 30 who were involved in violence and belonged to militant factions.

On Saturday demonstrations are being staged in Derry, Belfast and Dublin in protest at the killing of Palestinian protesters by Israel.



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Irish Senator Frances Black Makes the Case Against Nazi illegal Settlements

Image result for irish flag

By Dr. James J. Zogby

This past week, we hosted Irish Senator Frances Black in Washington. Black is the Chair of the Irish Seanad’s (Senate) Palestine Working Group and the lead sponsor of the legislation to ban the import of products from Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian lands into Ireland.

The “Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territory) Bill of 2018” (CEA-OT) has passed the Seanad and successfully completed two rounds in the lower house (Dail) of the Irish parliament. In the Dail’s first vote the bill passed by a wide 78-45 margin. All of Ireland’s major parties, except for the minority governing party, have endorsed Black’s legislation and there is strong support for the bill and for Palestinian rights among the Irish public.

The CEA-OT has been carefully crafted and doesn’t over reach. By limiting its purview to products from settlements, it is clearly not an effort to impose BDS (Boycott Divestment & Sanctions) on Israel. When this legislation was first brought up for a vote in the Seanad, Senator Black’s remarks in support included the following poignant observations:

“Though these settlements are repeatedly condemned as illegal by the European Union, the United Nations, and the Irish government, they continue to extract valuable natural resources and agricultural produce.

“These goods are exported and sold on shelves around the world, including in Ireland…There is a clear hypocrisy here – how can we condemn the settlements as ‘unambiguously illegal,’ as theft of land and resources, but happily buy the proceeds of this crime?

“I saw the impact of settlement expansion when I visited the West Bank this year: the restrictions on movement, the shrinking space for housing and health care, the lack of electricity. I witnessed the crushing indignity of a Palestinian community cut off from their water supply so that it could be diverted to an Israeli chicken farm. That commercial settlement, built on stolen land beyond internationally recognized borders, is a war crime. Is the moral response to condemn this illegality, but then ask, ‘how much for the eggs?’

“Ultimately, trade in settlement goods sustains injustice. We can criticize all we want, but years of empty rhetoric simply have not worked. As long as we buy their produce and they stay profitable, nothing will change.”

At this critical juncture, with just a few more steps before the legislation comes to a final vote in the Dail, a group of pro-Israel US Members of Congress, led by Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) have inserted themselves into the process with a letter to the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and Foreign Minister threatening Ireland with “severe implications were this bill to become law.” The Congressional letter falsely claims that the boycott of settlement products called for in the legislation would run counter to the US Export Administration Act (EAA) thereby making it difficult for US companies (like Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.) to continue to do business in Ireland. The King-Engel letter more than suggests that what is at stake for Ireland is the 67% of its foreign direct investment that comes from the US.

While it is disturbing that US Members of Congress would attempt to blatantly interfere in the democratic processes of another country on behalf of Israel, even more troubling is their brazen mischaracterization of the EAA. That law was passed in the 1970’s to prohibit US companies from submitting to pressures from the Arab League to boycott Israel. The Irish CEA-OT, however, has nothing to do with Ireland responding to the Arab League. It has everything to do with international law. And, in any case, the boycott does not apply to Israel. It only boycotts goods produced, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in Palestinian territories occupied by Israel. (The Geneva Conventions specifically prohibit an occupying power from transferring its people into the territories it has occupied, displacing the indigenous population, and exploiting the resources from those territories for its own benefit. The United Nations and the International Court of Justice have repeatedly ruled that Israel’s behaviors in the occupied Palestinian territories are in violation of the Conventions.)

During her four day visit to Washington, Senator Black had one public event co-hosted by the Arab American Institute and the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a luncheon with a number of organizations working on issues related to Israeli-Palestinian peace, as well as meetings with a number of Members of Congress. There was broad support for her efforts and a determination to help correct the record on the mischaracterization of EAA.

As she repeatedly noted, should the CEA-OT become law, its economic impact on Israel will be minimal – the best estimates are that Irish imports from the settlements only amount to between €500,000 and €1,000,000 annually. The importance of the CEA-OT is, therefore, not in the economic impact it makes, but in the clear message it sends that Israel’s incessant drive to colonize the West Bank with continued settlement expansion will no longer be tolerated. Instead of wringing its hands in frustration with Israeli policy, the Irish government will send a clear message that “enough is enough.”

In this context, it is irritating that the King-Engel letter disingenuously claims to share “Ireland’s goal of a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and claims that the CEA-OT “undermines the prospect for a sustainable two-state solution.” In fact, it is the US Congress’ refusal to act in any way to help halt Israel’s aggressive expansion of settlements that have put the very possibility of a two-state solution at risk.

Ireland alone can’t change Israeli policy. But Ireland is determined to lead. The reason why the Israeli government and their US allies are responding so forcefully, with threats and more, is because they know that should Ireland lead, the EU may follow. And with more countries taking concrete measures to demonstrate their disapproval of Israel behavior, only then will a “sustainable” peace based on justice and respect for international law become possible.



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Ireland’s book of condolence for Palestinians killed in Gaza blocked by pro-Nazi groups

NOVANEWS

Image result for pro-Nazi groups CARTOON

 

A request by the Irish Republican Party, Sinn Fein, to open a book of condolence in Belfast city council for Palestinians killed in Gaza last week was blocked by Unionists allied with the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group.

Denouncing the book of condolence as “deeply shameful”, the Israeli lobby group accused Sinn Fein of supporting terrorists for wanting to mark the killing of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza.

The two main Unionist parties, who have strong ties with the pro-Israel lobby group, blocked the request, which forced Sinn Fein to open an internal book of condolence. According to the rules, a book of condolence can only be opened with the agreement of all parties at City Hall.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) council group leader Tim Attwood said he was “disappointed” that Unionists blocked the book of condolence “to mark the killings and injuries inflicted on the people of Gaza”.

“People of Belfast are horrified and wish to express their sympathy at the tragic loss of life,” he added.

Meanwhile,  Sinn Fein group leader on the Belfast City Council, Deirdre Hargey, was reported as saying that her party would be opening its own book of condolence in the party’s room at City Hall, open to all members of the public.

The request for the book of condolence came after a number of Palestinian solidarity protests were held across Northern Ireland last week. Sinn Fein reacted to the killing and the pro-Palestinian demonstration by also demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

This is the second time in two months that the plight of Palestinians became a cause of tension in Belfast. In March the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group invited the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, to speak at an event in the local public library. Activists denounced the decision saying that Regev “has a long history of excusing, apologising and justifying [Israel’s] murder, torture and genocide as well as land theft from the indigenous population of Palestine.”

Members of the community in Belfast who supported the decision to open a book of condolence were disappointed by the Unionist parties. They told MEMO that many Unionist politicians and councillors were members of the Friends of Israel and revealed that Unionist parties have all hosted friends of Israel events.



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Ireland to Discuss New Bill Criminalising Trade with Nazi Jewish Settlements

NOVANEWS
Ireland to Discuss New Bill Criminalising Trade with Israeli Settlements
 

Featured image: Illegal construction work of settlements in the West Bank on 22 February 2017 (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency)

Ireland is set to discuss a new bill that seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods originating in illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian Territory.

Independent Senator Frances Black, yesterday, launched the “Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018”, which is scheduled for debate in Seanad Éireann on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

According to a press release announcing its launch the bill “seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories”.

“Such settlements,” said the statement, “are illegal under both international humanitarian law and domestic Irish law, and result in human rights violations on the ground”.

Despite the illegality of the import and sale of goods from Israeli settlements, the statement points out that Ireland is still providing “continued economic support through trade in settlement goods”.

Drafters of the bill revealed that the legislation had been “prepared with the support of Trócaire, Christian-Aid and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and applies to settlements in occupied territories where there is clear international legal consensus that they violate international law”. They insisted that the “clearest current example of these violations were the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian West Bank, which have been repeatedly condemned as illegal by the UN, EU, the International Court of Justice and the Irish Government”.

Speaking in advance of the bill’s introduction, Senator Black said:

“This is a chance for Ireland to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people – it is about respecting international law and refusing to support illegal activity and human suffering.”

Black said he is “passionate about the struggle of the Palestinian people”. He insisted that “trade in settlement goods sustains injustice” and explained that “in the occupied territories, people are forcibly kicked out of their homes, fertile farming land is seized, and the fruit and vegetables produced are then sold on Irish shelves to pay for it all”.

The bill is seeking more than mere denunciation of Israeli settlements and is trying to get governments around the world to treat settlements as illegal. Black pointed out that six years ago the Irish Government criticised the relentless progress of Israeli settlements, but they have failed to do anything about it since.

“In years since then it has only gone one way, with settlements expanding, more Palestinian homes being demolished and land being confiscated. It’s clear that empty promises have not worked but nothing has been done. Ireland needs to show leadership and act” Black protested.

The Occupied Territories Bill 2018 will be debated at Second Stage in Seanad Éireann on Wednesday and will be streamed live on Oireachtas TV. It has been co-signed by Seanad Civil Engagement Group Senators Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Grace O’Sullivan, Colette Kelleher and John Dolan, as well as Senator David Norris.



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