Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Matt Carthy TD, has called on the Taoiseach to call for the EU to change course in its approach to the brutal Israeli attacks in Gaza. He said that if the European Council does not take the opportunity to follow the lead of UN Secretary General, António Guterres, then Ireland must.
Speaking on Wednesday during Dáil statements ahead of this week’s European Council Teachta Carthy said:
“The remarks of UN Secretary General, António Guterres, are words that should be heeded. Regrettably, the strength of his calls have not been matched from within the EU.
“In fact, the European Union, which has long championed itself as a leader for peace, international law and conflict resolution, has failed to live up to any of those principles in recent weeks.
“This week’s European Council meeting can be the opportunity to change course.
“Ireland must be the voice at EU level that condemns war crimes regardless of who commits them.
“Ireland must be the voice that demands an end to the Israeli siege and attacks on Gaza.
“Ireland must be the voice that says that the Palestinian people have a right to freedom.
“Ireland must be the voice that says end the occupation, the annexation, the apartheid being inflicted on Palestine.
“We must try to bring the European Union to that point.
“But, we cannot limit ourselves to the narrow parameters of an EU consensus.
“It is pointless to simply say that Israel must abide by international law when it is blatantly breaking international laws every single minute of every single day.
“So, if the European Council doesn’t step up to the mark, Ireland must.
“The demand most simple must be: An immediate and full ceasefire and the universal application of and adherence to international law with the explicit condemnation of those who breach it, including Israel.
“For a decisive international intervention that leads to a negotiated settlement and an independent Palestinian state.
“In making those calls, it may be that the Irish government will be in a minority on the European Council.
“But, they will be representing the views of the vast majority of the Irish people.
“And, as seen by the remarks of General Secretary Guterres, you will be representing the views of the majority of humanity.
“This week is the opportunity to change course. I hope that the members of the European Council seize that opportunity.
“But, even if they don’t – Ireland must.”