This Saturday in Clonmel a petition will be taken up at the Main Guard in support of the people of Palestine.
I recently spoke in the Dáil of my support of the Palestinian people following the most recent atrocities there and asked that Ireland expel the Israeli ambassador and his staff and recall the Irish ambassador from Tel Aviv. Ireland must end the bilateral arms trade with Israel. It should call for an international military embargo on the state of Israel on the basis that it is murdering vast numbers of Palestinians in cold blood. Ireland must call for the suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement on the basis that Israel is in clear breach of the human rights clause in the agreement. Furthermore, the 11-year siege of Gaza must be lifted. We must commence an extensive boycott of Israeli goods and services. In 2014 both Houses of the Oireachtas unanimously called for the formal recognition of the state of Palestine. The Government must formally recognise it immediately.
In addition the Occupied Territories Bill 2018 introduced by Senator Frances Black is in Seanad Éireann on 11 July 2018, a Bill I fully support. It is Ireland’s time to take the lead and stand up for justice in Palestine and end trade in illegal settlement goods.
Statement in full:
Seamy Healy TD:
I condemn in the strongest possible terms the latest massacre of unarmed Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces. Last Monday, 14 May, was the single deadliest day for Palestinians in the occupied territories in over four years. The Great March of Return protests took place on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the expulsion – perhaps it might be better explained as ethnic cleansing – of over 750,000 Palestinians, or two thirds of the indigenous Arab population, from their homes by Israeli forces between 1947 and 1949. On Monday 60 unarmed Palestinians were shot dead and over 2,000 wounded. In the previous six weeks another 45 unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli state forces. The slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters carried out by Israel on Monday as part of its response to the Great March of Return in the past six weeks was cold blooded murder. As we all know, it was the very same as the shoot to kill policy implemented by British state forces in the Six Counties in previous years. The conduct of the Israeli state forces can rightly be compared to the outrageous and despicable campaign of murder and mayhem visited on this country by the infamous Black and Tans.
In the face of seven decades of consistent failure by the international community to enforce the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Palestinian civil society has taken it upon itself to assert its UN-mandated right of return. Unarmed protesters who are seeking to do this are being met with Israeli sniper bullets. Nothing has been done to punish Israel for the slaughter of over 100 unarmed Palestinians in the past two months. Instead, the United States has moved its embassy to Jerusalem and blocked UN Security Council resolutions condemning the killings, while the European Union has continued to reward Israel with increased co-operation. The entire situation is utterly shameful and sickening. The massacre of unarmed protesters while the world, including the European Union and the Government, stands idly by is utterly shameful. The protestors are simply demanding their rights under international law. They include the right to return, as set down in UN Resolution 194; the right not to be the subject of the collective punishment of an entire population, as is happening with the 11-year siege of Gaza; and the right not to have their lands illegally annexed for Israeli settlement expansions.
While it is all very fine for the Government to call in the Israeli ambassador, talk is cheap and action is needed. We need to expel the Israeli ambassador and his staff. We need to recall the Irish ambassador from Tel Aviv, just as South Africa has recalled its ambassador. Ireland must end the bilateral arms trade with Israel. It should call for an international military embargo on the state of Israel on the basis that it is murdering vast numbers of Palestinians in cold blood. Ireland must call for the suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement on the basis that Israel is in clear breach of the human rights clause in the agreement. Furthermore, the 11-year siege of Gaza must be lifted. We must commence an extensive boycott of Israeli goods and services. In 2014 both Houses of the Oireachtas unanimously called for the formal recognition of the state of Palestine. The Government must formally recognise it immediately. I commend all of the organisations, including the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, that are supporting the Palestinian people. I commend all of the people from Ireland who have visited the Palestinian territories in support of the cause. My own daughter has just returned from such a visit. She and her companions were blackguarded at the airport. They were held and interrogated for six hours. Some in the group were refused entry. It is time the international community, including the Government, stood up to Israel and supported the rights of the Palestinian people.
Many thanks to everyone that has messaged concerned about what is happening in Gaza and wanting me to raise this issue with the government. I have been a lifelong supporter of the Palestinian people. I’ve called for and voted for a full Dáil debate in support of the Palestinian people. I’ve taken part in protests. The Workers and Unemployed Action group fully support the people of Gaza and members protested again most recently in Cahir last Saturday. I will continue to pressure the Government and support freedom and dignity for Palestinian people. Seamus.