Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has appealed to the public to throw their support behind a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) campaign, which has been launched by a coalition of NGOs and human rights groups dedicated to stopping illegal settlements on Palestinian land.
The ECI is a unique mechanism within the EU, where if 1 million signatures can be gathered under an initiative, the EU is compelled to formally discuss the topic.
The Wicklow TD said:
“Over 100 NGOs and human rights organisations have launched an ECI, which has the potential to compel the EU to discuss a law that could put an end to the EU trade with the illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.
“This is a truly empowering initiative that allows ordinary citizens to have a real say in formulating laws in Europe.
“The initiative is targeting the gathering of one million signatures across Europe. With Ireland’s long history of opposition to apartheid, and the particular affinity that the Irish people have for the Palestinian people, we in Ireland have a real opportunity to impact this campaign.
“Amnesty International recently published a strongly worded report that accused Israel of the crime of apartheid.
“In supporting this campaign, we in Sinn Féin join with Human Rights Watch, Trócaire, Christian Aid, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the International Federation for Human Rights, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace, to name just some of the groups involved in their efforts to bring an end to the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people.
“People can add their signature or find out more about the ECI at uplift.ie/stopsettlements.
“Last year, the Dáil passed a motion recognised the de facto annexation of Palestinian territory by Israeli settlers.
“This is illegal under international law and cannot be allowed to continue. The EU has shied away from confronting this issue in any meaningful manner.
“The ECI has the power to compel the EU to debate this issue and place at the centre of European politics.”