Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Matt Carthy TD, has said that South Africa has served humanity well by bringing the case against Israel under the Genocide Convention to the International Court of Justice.
Deputy Carthy described it as regrettable that the Irish government has thus far failed to support South Africa in the case, and he said that the positions of Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin were contradictory and unconvincing.
“In bringing the case against Israel to the International Criminal Court, South Africa has shone a light on the humanitarian catastrophe that has been unleased in Gaza. The South African government has done humanity a great service in taking this stand.
“The case against Israel as presented by the South African legal team was compelling. Irish people are particularly proud of the contribution of Bline Ní Ghrálaigh who set out in stark, indisputable terms that Israel is in gross violation of international law and, I believe, that Israel is in breach of the Genocide Convention.
“On the other hand, the Israeli arguments to the ICJ amounted to deflection. There is simply no justification for the actions in Gaza which have resulted in the deaths of over 23,000 people, including over 10,000. Those actions have included the deliberate killing of civilians, the intentional targeting of civilian infrastructure including hospitals and schools, the denial of water, food, fuel and emergency supplies to a civilian population and the forced displacement of virtually every single resident in Gaza. Meanwhile, Israeli violent actions in the West Bank, continue to intensify.
“It is deeply regrettable that the Irish government have thus far refused to support the South African case. Their arguments for this refusal are unconvincing and contradictory.
“Micheál Martin’s approach has been to attack the opposition for requesting that he takes meaningful action. He knows that Sinn Féin have constructively engaged with government on this issue and that we have welcomed positive interventions when they occurred. He also knows that we want strong words to be matched by action that will help bring an end to the slaughter.
“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s position has moved from making an argument against the South African case to stating that he hopes that the ICJ actually makes the interim ceasefire order that the South Africa case seeks. He then suggests that there may be a role for Ireland without specifying what that role may be because he further contended that Israeli will likely ignore such an order.
“The time for Ireland to play a role is now. The international community has a responsibility to end the barbarity that we are witnessing in Palestine. Israel must be held to account.
“Ireland can and must follow South Africa’s lead by working with others to show decisive leadership that can help force an end to the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.”