Irish support for Palestine on Day of Solidarity – John Brady TD
Speaking following the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, told of the special relationship between the Palestinian people and the people of Ireland.
He added that this relationship is reflected across the political spectrum, particularly in Leinster House, where there is a strong tradition of cross-party support in relation to issues concerning Palestine.
But he added that there is a strong responsibility on members of the Oireachtas to remain steadfast in their support for the Palestinian people
The Wicklow TD said:
“While there is strong and genuine cross-party support for the Palestinian people within all parties in Leinster House, I believe that we could be doing more within the Dáil for Palestinian people.
“In May 2021, 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.
“There is a very real need for Ireland to become the standard bearer in a fresh campaign against apartheid in Palestine, just as our people did in the 1980s. During the days of apartheid in South Africa it was the ordinary Irish people who led the way, and the politicians were forced to follow.
“Today, it is the responsibility of the political classes to lead the way. To show the world that apartheid is as repugnant to Ireland today as it was in the dark days of the regime in South Africa.
“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.
“An essential element of the Israeli campaign against the Palestinian people is the silencing of Palestinian civic society. We have witnessed their efforts to designate the six NGOs as terrorist entities. All of which are internationally respected organisations who have successfully Israeli abuses and apartheid policies highlighted, a number of whom continue to be funded by the EU and Ireland.
“The price of our silence in the face of Israel’s campaign of oppression will be a return to its attempts to silence these groups, as a prelude to its further onslaught against the Palestinian people.
“The international community needs to formally recognise the state of Palestine, and I believe that this is something that the Irish government with the full support of all of the members of the Oireachtas can lead out on.”