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Government should consider suspending diplomatic relations with Israel – Ó Snodaigh

4 December, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Commenting on the refusal of the Israeli Government to allow the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs to visit Gaza in occupied Palestine, as revealed in a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs meeting yesterday, Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the Government should consider suspending diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Sinn Féin deputy said it is high time that a hard line is taken on the issue. He declared Israel as a “rogue, racist and belligerent state.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “It was with regret but little surprise when I heard Mícheál Martin say that he was refused permission by Israel to visit Gaza. It was yet another undignified slap in the face for the Irish Government from Israel that must not be allowed to go unchallenged. The Minister should consider suspending diplomatic relations with Israel.

“Israel, a rogue, racist and belligerent state, has no right whatsoever to deny any Irish Minister a visit to Palestine to see for himself or herself the humanitarian crisis that has been created by their criminal war actions.

“No Irish Minister – with a scintilla of backbone – can allow matters to rest here. I am calling on Minister Micheal Martin to take a stand. It is high time that a hard line is taken on the issue of Israel – to stand out among European and world leaders – and to stand up for the people of Palestine.

“He must demand access and make every effort to get to Gaza and Palestine despite what the Israeli authorities say. If the Israeli authorities refuse access again diplomatic relationships should immediately be broken off and the Israeli Ambassador sent home.

“He has to make Israel understand that there are consequences for their actions. He must push for immediate action at European level. A start could be made by demanding an end to the special trade relationship that exists between the Union and Israel.

“Meekly walking away from a major diplomatic insult, without a response, is tantamount to conniving and colluding in the abuse of the Palestinian people. It cannot and must not be allowed to happen.” ENDS

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