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SDLP need to be straight with public on Israeli blockade of Gaza

8 June, 2010 - by Raymond McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA and international spokesperson Raymond McCartney has said that the SDLP need to be honest with the public in regards to their declared opposition of the illegal Israeli blockade on Gaza and the Palestinian people while sponsoring events celebrating Israel and its legacy of oppression against the Palestinian at Stormont and refusing to open a book of condolences to the aid workers killed by Israeli forces. 

Speaking today Mr McCartney said:

“The SDLP have in recent days spoken of their outrage at the storming of aid ships bound for Gaza and the killing of humanitarian aid workers, and rightly so.

“However the SDLP cannot have it both ways, playing to public opinion while actually acting alongside pro-Israeli groups, at this very sensitive time.

“The SDLP are co-sponsors of an event this week, alongside the unionist parties who opposed the aid flotilla, at which a special guest is to be the Israeli Ambassador to London

“The SDLP Mayor of Belfast, Pat Convery, has  to date ignored  requests from Belfast citizens, to open a book of condolences for those aid workers who were killed by the Israeli forces.

“This is a time to listen to the public outcry over the killing of humanitarian aid workers, the seizure of aid for the people of Gaza and the arrest and deportation of Irish citizens trying to break an illegal blockade.

“At a time when governments and countless thousands of people around the world are condemning the Israeli government’s actions, calling for an independent inquiry into these killings, and calling for the expulsion of Israeli ambassadors the SDLP need to come off the fence.

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