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Ireland to expel Nazi ambassador over protest deaths

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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.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, IrelandComments Off on Ireland to expel Nazi ambassador over protest deaths

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

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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.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, IrelandComments Off on Ireland to Discuss New Bill Criminalising Trade with Nazi Jewish Settlements


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