Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Matt Carthy TD, has said that Tánaiste Micheál Martin should use his visit to the Middle East to outline the government’s timeframe to formally recognise the state of Palestine.
Teachta Carthy said that the strong words of government in response to the ongoing breaches of international law by Israel must be matched by action such as enacting Sinn Féin’s ‘Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestment Bill’.
The Cavan/Monaghan TD said:
“The Tánaiste’s visit to Israel and Palestine is occurring at a time when there has been a marked increase in violence levelled against the Palestinian people by Israeli authorities, including the recent assault of the Jenin refugee camp which resulted in the deaths of 12 people, including 5 children.
“Micheál Martin must use this visit to outline Ireland’s ongoing condemnation of Israeli breaches of international law. But strong words must be matched by action.
“The Tánaiste should outline the timeframe in which the Irish government will enact the decision of both Houses of the Oireachtas to recognise the state of Palestine. International leadership is needed on this issue and Ireland is well placed to show that leadership.
“While the Tánaiste has opined of wishing to build consensus across Europe, the situation for ordinary Palestinians is deteriorating – we cannot ask yet another generation of Palestinian children to wait for an international response that shows no sign of coming.
“History tells us that Israel will not cease its aggressive and apartheid regime until the world says stop. Just as in opposing South African apartheid, it will take some countries to take the first steps. Ireland should be among those first countries.
“The strong words of Irish government Ministers in response to Israeli crimes are important – but they must be matched by action. The Tánaiste must indicate that his government will progress the Sinn Féin ‘Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestment Bill’ which has been delayed until next February.
“This Bill, drafted by John Brady TD, would prevent Irish taxpayers’ monies being invested in companies that profit from Israel’s illegal settlements.
“Unless the Tánaiste uses his visit to the Middle East to outline the actions that his government will take in response to the ongoing breaches of International Law by Israel, then I fear the trip will be pointless.”