Irish support for Palestine on Day of Solidarity – John Brady TD
Sinn Fein spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD spoke today of the special relationship between the Palestinian people and the people of Ireland.
Speaking to mark the date of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Wicklow TD said:
“The plight of the Palestinian people evokes cross party support in Leinster House. And while there may be differing views on how best to approach the issue, there is no doubting the conviction and concern of members of the Dáil when it comes to the plight of the Palestinians.
“Last May, Ireland made international headlines when our country became the first in the EU to condemn the Israeli Annexation of Palestinian Territory as illegal. The unanimity of support for the motion created waves internationally.
“I am proud of my country’s stance on Palestine. It is the same pride I experience when I recall the stance of the Irish people in the 1980s, inspired by the courage and determination of the Dunnes Stores Workers who refused to handle South African produce, in protest at the apartheid policies of that regime.
“I believe that we now sit at a juncture where we as a country, as a legislative body in the Dáil, and in the international role of our Government, must find the means to transform our compassion, our concern, and indeed our outrage at the suffering of the Palestinian People into tangible action with real impacts, or run the risk of becoming insignificant.
“Our protests continue to fall on the deaf ears of an Israeli Government, who are quite happy to endure our protests as long as they do not impact on their continuing policy of annexation of Palestinian Territory. We need to assess the efficacy of the current approach, particularly that of the Government.
“The Israeli authorities are engaged in a campaign designed to reduce Palestinian Territory to a series of scattered enclaves surrounded by security cordons. A policy that continues to erode the fabric of Palestinian civic authority and Socio-economic and cultural life.
“The apartheid policies of Israeli are intent on making Palestinian Territory so fragmented that is ungovernable.
“Sinn Féin supports a two-state solution, which is a view shared by the majority of representatives in the Dáil. However, there cannot be a two-state solution, if one of the states has been reduced to a series of Bantustans.
“The international community needs to formally recognise the state of Palestine, and I believe that this is something that the Irish Government can lead out on.
“The condemnation of the Irish Government of the recent decision by the Israeli authorities to designate six Palestinian NGOs, some of which are part-funded by the Irish taxpayer, as terrorist organisations is to be welcomed.
“But more needs to be done. The designation of the six NGOs is designed to silence the internationally respected organisations who have successfully highlighted Israeli abuses and apartheid policies.
“We need action. This means that the Government needs to move beyond the limitations of acts of condemnation and work to develop a cohesive force of opposition on the international stage, a force that will introduce
“We in Ireland must become the torch paper to ignite an international response against the actions of a state that enforces apartheid policies against the Palestinian people, that illegal annexes Palestinian Territory, and which continually and unapologetically flouts international law.”