Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD today announced his intention to bring forward a motion on the annexation of Palestinian lands by the Israeli government to the Dáil on Tuesday.
The Wicklow TD said:
“I am appealing for cross party support. The Dáil must send out an important message that the ongoing actions of the Israeli government towards the Palestinians is unacceptable to the Irish people.
“Along with everyone else who has witnessed the horrific scenes unfold in Gaza during the Israeli aerial bombardment, which led to the deaths of so many innocents, including children, I welcome the announcement of a ceasefire.
“But it is important to note that the violence which occurred in Gaza and East Jerusalem did not take place in a vacuum.
“The violence was a direct consequence of the ongoing illegal Israeli strategy of annexation of Palestinian lands.
“Human Rights Watch, a hugely respected international organisation, recently levelled the accusation of apartheid at the Israeli government.
“The irrefutable evidence is the 54-year-old strategy of the Israeli government designed to remove the Palestinian people from their homes, and from their lands, replacing them with illegal Israeli settlers, bear witness to this accusation.
“Since 1967, 250 illegal Israeli settlements have been established with over 650,000 settlers therein.
“In 2020, 848 Palestinian homes were destroyed and so far in 2021, there has been a 108% increase in the number of demolitions.
“This is part of a deliberate policy – 83% of all demolitions take place within a 2.5km radius of an Israeli settlement in order to create space for settlement expansion.
“We might ask what happens to the Palestinians after they are forced to witness the destruction of their homes, their schools, their health centres and their critical infrastructure?
“The answer is that they are banished to a patchwork of Bantustans, like the South Africa of the apartheid period.
“And just as the Irish people stood as a shining light of protest against the apartheid regime of South Africa, we must lend similar support to the beleaguered people of Palestine.
“I am proud to say that this motion reflects the mood and the wishes of the Irish people.
“I am proud that it is a product of a collaboration between civic Ireland and the Oireachtas.
“For some months now, I have been working in close collaboration with Trócaire, Christian Aid, Sadaka, ICTU, and Senator Frances Black in developing this motion.
“I am proud of my colleagues in the Dáil, who have agreed to add their name in support of this motion – from the Labour Party, the Social Democrats, and the various independent groupings.
“There is room for the government parties to support this motion.
“There has always been massive support in this country for the plight of the Palestinians. For more than any other nation in the developed world, we the Irish people know what it is to wear the yoke of the colonised.
“And as such, we have often found ourselves out ahead of international opinion.
“On Tuesday, we have the opportunity to send out a message that what is happening to the Palestinian people is unacceptable to the Irish people.”
The motion can be read here.