This week, Dáil Éireann debated the Amnesty International Report which was released on February 1st this year entitled “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity”. The report had been researched for four years and included examples which Amnesty found amounted to the crime of apartheid.
The Amnesty report is the latest in a long line of rights organisations who have called out the unjust occupation of Palestine as a system of apartheid, including Human Rights Watch, UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard, B’Tselem, Yesh Din and a full panel of UN experts.
The Irish Government have been criticised by the opposition and by Palestinian rights groups for refusing to endorse the use of the term “apartheid” to describe the Israeli regime. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett’s contribution went viral after he called out the glaring double standards in treatment of Russia, including swift and decisive use of sanctions, and the treatment of Israel.
The report was first debated in the Seanad on 1st march. A long term advocate for Palestinian rights, Senator Frances Black was frank:
Contributions in the Dáil broadly supported the findings of the report, but Minister Simon Coveney stopped short of endorsing the use of the term apartheid saying “the Irish Government does not use the term “apartheid” because we do not think it is helpful in this context.” He outlined support for the Palestinian right to self-determination, which was welcomed by the Mission of the State of Palestine in Ireland.
Deputy John Brady, Sinn Féin Foreign Affairs spokesperson, criticised the Minister sharply saying
The findings of the Amnesty report are indisputable. What remains to be seen is what, if any, action will be taken to uphold international law and defend the rights of Palestinians.
WOW!! really informative, great job!
Excellent work love!!