Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Matt Carthy TD, has described as unacceptable the refusal of the Irish government to join South Africa in proceedings against Israel at the International Court of Justice.
Deputy Carthy called on the government to change its position and join the referral to the court under the Genocide convention.
Speaking in Dublin on Tuesday, where he was attending a press conference organised by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Committee, Deputy Carthy said that the willingness of the Irish government to make a referral to the ICJ against Russia in respect of the Ukraine conflict but refusing to do so in respect of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people smacks of the double-standards that have been evident since the war on Gaza began.
Teachta Carthy said:
“It is unacceptable that the Irish government have refused to join South Africa’s referral to the International Court of Justice under the Genocide Convention against Israel.
“Ireland made a referral to the ICJ against Russia in respect of the war in Ukraine. Sinn Féin supported that position.
“It smacks of the double-standards that have been evident since the was in Gaza began that governments, including Ireland, that made the referral against Russia now refuse to join the referral against Israel.
“Russia aggression against Ukraine has resulted in the killing of over 10,000 civilians, including 560 children, from a pre-war Ukrainian population of 43 million people, within 20 months. Russia must be held to account for it’s brutality.
“Israeli aggression in Gaza has resulted in the killing of 22,835 civilians, including almost 10,000 children, from a population of just 2.27 million in only three months. Israel must be accountable.
“The Israeli onslaught on Gaza has been coupled with collective punishment measures that have included the forced displacement of two million people and the denial of water, food, fuel and emergency supplies to the civilian population and a humanitarian and healthcare catastrophe that is worsening by the day.
“If the case for making a referral to the ICJ against Russia was strong, and it was, then the case for doing so in respect of Israeli aggression is beyond dispute.
“There must be a ceasefire, there must be sanctions, and Israel must be held to account.
“The Irish people have been horrified by the actions of Israel in Gaza and the failure of the international community to demand they stop. They have welcomed the strong words of the Irish government.
“But, words must be matched by actions.
“Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin must change course and agree to joining South Africa in their ICJ proceedings against Israel concerning violations under the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide in relation to Palestinians in Gaza.
“It will be only through such actions that Israel can be brought to ending its bombardment of Gaza, their massacre of civilians and children, and their mass displacement of an entire population.
“Anything less can only be regarded as double-standards and will be judged harshly by future generations.”