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HomeMuslim WorldEuropeIreland: Protesters call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador in Dublin, Motion defeated

Ireland: Protesters call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador in Dublin, Motion defeated

Nov. 16
More than a thousand people staged a protest outside the Dáil in a call for the Israeli ambassador in Dublin to be expelled from the country, reports PA Wire. Protesters waved large Palestinian flags as they also called for a ceasefire in the conflict. The Social Democrats also proposed a motion in the Dáil, calling for a range of economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel. However, the motion was defeated following a two-hour discussion on Wednesday.

The demonstrators chanted “Free Palestine”, “Israeli Ambassador, out, out, out”, and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

Photo: PA

The demonstrators also erected a large sign which spelled out “Gaza” in lights. People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett was among the demonstrators. Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Matt Carthy, as well as Social Democrat leader Holly Cairns and party TD Gary Gannon were also in attendance.

The protest came ahead of a vote on a motion proposed by the Social Democrats calling for a range of economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel.

The party has demanded that the diplomatic credentials of Israel’s ambassador in Ireland, Dana Erlich, be revoked.

The motion also called for Ireland to use its influence in Brussels to seek a suspension of the EU-Israel trade deal, invoking a human rights clause in the agreement, and suspend Israel from participation in the Horizon Europe research funding initiative.

The party said Ireland should also refer Israel to the International Criminal Court.

Tabling a counter-motion that removed the calls for sanctions, Minister of State James Browne told the Dáil that maintaining diplomatic links with Israel was vital.

“There is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza and there is a real risk of regional spillover of conflict,” he said.

“At the same time, I regret that the motion proposed by the Social Democrats seeks to push Ireland to the margins of international opinion,” he said, claiming such a move would undermine the country’s influence in the Middle East.

But Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns insisted “words of condemnation are not enough” as she opened the debate on the motion.

Accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, Ms Cairns criticised the Government for proposing amendments that she claimed would replace the demand for tangible sanctions against Israel with “platitudes and zero actions”.

“The refusal of most Western leaders to shout stop and demand a ceasefire has led to thousands of deaths,” Ms Cairns told the Dáil.

“Israel is killing with impunity. According to the World Health Organisation, Gaza is now a graveyard for children.”

She added: “I recognise that the Irish Government has done more than most of the EU to advocate for a ceasefire, but that’s just evidence of how low the bar is. Words of condemnation are not enough. We need action. There must be consequences for the crimes perpetrated by Israel on a captive civilian population in Gaza.”

Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy said he was “ashamed” at the international community’s response to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

“I am ashamed of the international community’s response to what we have seen in Gaza and particularly ashamed by the response of the EU,” he said.

“I think EU leaders have ensured that the European Union no longer has any credibility to be a voice for peace, international law and for the basic rules of humanity for so long as they refuse to take a stand.”

Mr Carthy told Mr Browne that the world was “turning a blind eye” and “the EU, worse still, is providing cover”.

He criticised the Government’s failure to back the call for economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel.

“Every single possible action that might help pressure Israel to stop the slaughter of innocent Palestinians is met with pathetic excuses,” he said.

“It’s not good enough, minister. It is well past time that Ireland shows leadership, not to follow the lead of a European Union that clearly isn’t willing or capable of providing the leadership that’s much needed in this instance.”

Addressing the Dáil during the two-hour debate, Minister of State Sean Fleming said, “International humanitarian law applies, the principle of proportionality applies, and the Israeli military has a duty to ensure the protection of citizens. A humanitarian ceasefire for Gaza is an essential, basic step now.”

However, the motion in the Dáil calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador has been defeated.

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