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The Irish Anti-War Movement

STATEMENT ON PALESTINE (IAWM), JANUARY 2024

As the map above shows protestors around the world in their hundreds of thousands have demonstrated in support for Gaza and demanded an immediate ceasefire.

On a weekly basis towns and cities across Ireland – from Belfast to Cork, from Dublin to Galway and many others have rallied calling for the ethnic cleansing to stop and for western governments to stop backing Israel.  The spontaneous support for Palestinians has been truly impressive.

In the coming weeks of 2024 there will be major protests and vigils for Gaza organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (www.ipsc.ie) and others. The IAWM are calling for a very clear message to be sent to the Irish government.

*  It should get off the fence and condemn Israel’s genocide in Gaza

* It should openly support South Africa’s Government’s Genocide Convention application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

* It should immediately break diplomatic relations with Israel and expel the Israeli Ambassador

* It should impose immediate sanctions on Israel for its war crimes – a consumer boycott of Israeli goods, the freezing of Israeli assets, and Israeli companies no longer being allowed to trade here.  Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli murderous regime need to be implemented in full.

* It should summon the US Ambassador and announce that it is withdrawing the facility to the US Military at Shannon Airport

The Irish government is perceived as being Palestine-friendly but its actions fall far short.

At time of writing, since Israel’s bombardment of Gaza began on 7th October 2023, at least 22,000 Gazans have been killed, 57,000 horribly maimed and injured, 1.9 million displaced and hospitals, schools and many other buildings flattened or put beyond use. Starvation and disease ravage those that cannot escape – now estimated by the UN to be at least 85% of Gaza’s 2.2 million population.

Amid all this, not once has the Irish government condemned Israel.  Rather it seeks what it calls ‘a peaceful solution’ by negotiation. This would appear to amount to Micháel Martin shaking hands with both Netanyahu and Abbas in the middle of the mass destruction of Gaza.

It’s ‘peaceful solution’ rests on the reinstatement of the two- state set up. It was via the 1995 Oslo Accords which established the so-called self-governing institutions in the West Bank and Gaza, and which Israel has repeatedly flouted, that an apartheid regime became entrenched. Palestinians in the occupied territories were constantly harassed, arrested and killed by the Israeli Military. Their lands were relentlessly encroached by settlers who destroyed their houses and lands.

The Irish Government’s weak stand rests on it falling in behind the western powers, in whose interests the Israeli state was founded, and which continues to this day.

The Irish Government always defers to the EU, whose record on the war on Gaza has been appalling. In the country of the EU Commission President, Germany, Israeli flags fly outside government buildings. EU’s unelected Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, defends Israel for ‘making the dessert bloom’.  As it is, Israel has a unique relationship with the EU, under the so-called European Neighbourhood Policy and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, a privilege not open to any other Middle East state.

Secondly it defers to the US. The US is actively responsible, through the provision of arms and diplomatic protections to Israel, for the Palestinian genocide taking place. Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid. It has received the highest amount of military assistance from the US compared to any other nation since World War II, and this now exceeds $124bn. Shockingly, Secretary of State Blinken bypassed Congress recently to rush an additional €147 million of military aid to Israel. This includes a range of deadly munitions like the so-called “bunker buster” and unguided “dumb” bombs, the effects of which have been so devastating in Gaza.

With US backing, and the EU standing by, Israel is emboldened to carry through its genocide of the Palestinian people.

The Irish government needs to stop tagging behind the western powers and listen instead to the Irish people who want to see Israel brought to account for its genocide of the Palestinian people. Given what is going on, Leo Varadkar or any other Irish political leader should decline the usual Patrick’s day visit to Washington by way of protest.

This is the message to our government that we need to put out loud and clear at Dublin’s March on Saturday 13 January and subsequently.

* Support South Africa’s Government’s Genocide Convention application to the ICJ

* Expel Israeli Ambassador from Ireland

* Boycott and sanction Israel

* Close the Shannon War Port

The Irish Anti War Movement urges all our supporters to join the solidarity protests for Palestine and make our voices heard.

Website: www.irishantiwar.org

X: @IrishAntiWarMvt

https://www.facebook.com/IrishAntiWarMovement

Instagram: irishantiwarmovement

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