“Boycott against Israel must be intensified” - Carthy
Speaking today on his arrival back to Ireland from a four-day delegation from Palestine and Israel, Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, said that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel must be intensified. Mr. Carthy was on the delegation alongside fellow Sinn Féin MEPs Martina Anderson (who headed the delegation) and Lynn Boylan as well as a further ten MEP’s from six countries.
Among their final engagements yesterday was a constructive meeting with representatives from the National BDS movement in Palestine.
The Palestinian BDS movement is a wide consensus human rights coalition of the largest Palestinian organisations, trade unions, networks and NGOs. It stands for ending apartheid and discrimination against all Palestinians, ending the occupation, and defending the right of return for Palestinian refugees, who represent 69% of all Palestinians.
Matt Carthy MEP stated: "The BDS campaign is where it is at! If we want to support the Palestinian people then we need to develop a Divestment, Boycott, Sanctions campaign in every country, city, town and village. The South African experience has showed us that we have to hit apartheid regimes economically, culturally and diplomatically in order for them to take notice.
“On our trip to the West Bank and Jerusalem I was struck by the apartheid system that the Israeli government has employed. The Palestinian people are living under a regressive occupation and it is up to the international community to support them. The very fact that Israel denied our delegation access into Gaza shows their disregard for international diplomacy. The Israeli regime believes it is above the law”.
The European Parliament Delegation to Palestine pledged to contact European delegates In Jerusalem and call on them to help assess Israel's compliance with current agreements. The MEPs will also put pressure on the European Commission to take a stronger position regarding the ban and will reach out to MEPs from other political groups and appeal for them to join in signing a letter calling for a suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
The Director of BDS, Omar Barghouti, also added the need to call for an arms embargo: "The first lesson in peace-making is that you don't sell arms to conflict zones."