Ireland becomes first EU country to recognise ‘de facto’ Israeli annexation
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) welcomes last night’s recognition by the Dáil (Irish parliament) of the de facto Israeli annexation of those parts of the West Bank on which illegal settlements are built.
We believe that this recognition represents a very important step towards accountability for Israel’s violations of international law, human rights abuses, and its commission of crimes against humanity, namely Apartheid and Persecution.
We hope this will be a watershed moment, that others states will follow suit, and that our government and other states will immediately take action to end these crimes and our complicity with them, to hold those responsible for these crimes accountable, and to ensure that Palestinians finally enjoy freedom, justice, equality and the Right to Return to their homeland.
But we know we cannot rely on governments, here or elsewhere, to take action without pressure from below. Indeed, words are something that have come easily to successive Irish governments, while actions have been sorely lacking.
We reiterate our demands on the Irish government to enact the Occupied Territories Bill, end the bilateral arms trade and any military-security cooperation with Israel, expel the Israeli Ambassador, and impose lawful and targeted sanctions against individuals and entities found to be responsible for the commission of apartheid and persecution.
Further, we call for the government to undertake an ‘Apartheid Audit’ of the Irish state, which would, in the words of Human Rights Watch, subject “bilateral agreements, cooperation schemes, and all forms of trade and dealing with Israel to enhanced due diligence to screen for those directly contributing to the commission of crimes of apartheid and persecution of Palestinians [and] end the activities and funding found to directly contribute to facilitating these serious crimes.”
In the end, it is actions, not words, which will help the Palestinian people achieve their freedom.
But words do matter, and while saluting the recognition of annexation, we must note our disappointment with the government’s insistence on the inclusion of an amendment that appears to blame Palestinians for the latest murderous assault inflicted upon them by Israel. In doing so, the amendment ignores the weeks of Israeli provocations in Sheikh Jarrah, the attacks on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, and indeed, the everyday ‘routine’ violence inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the nuclear-armed Apartheid State of Israel that has spent seven decades colonising Palestine and forcing Palestinians to live under a brutal and repressive racist system of Apartheid and Persecution.
It is deeply unfortunate that the Irish government made the inclusion of such an unwarranted amendment a precondition to the recognition of the blatant and illegal de facto annexation of Palestinian land by a brutal colonising power.