Dé Domhnaigh, Eanáir 17, 2010

Donegal Protest Calls for Boycott of Israel

In January last year (2009) the people of Gaza were enduring a massive military assault, carried out by Israel, which left more than 1,400 people dead, including 400 children. Tens of thousands were left homeless and the infrastructure was completely destroyed. The Israeli state continues to impose a siege on Gaza, not allowing the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza strip (an area no bigger than Inishowen in north Donegal), access to food, medical supplies and basic building materials to begin rebuilding their homes, schools and hospitals, after the Israeli military tried to wipe them from the map. These actions were just part of a long running series of horrific events, meted out upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli state over the last 62 years, and indeed in the years leading up to the forming of the Israeli state in 1948.

Yesterday (Sat 16th Jan) éirígí Tir Chonaill held a protest in Letterkenny, County Donegal, calling for the a complete boycott of Israel. Éirígí activists and supporters travelled to the well attended event from all over the north-west of Ireland, from Downings to Sligo, from the off-shore islands to Derry.

As part of éirígí Tir Chonaill's continuing campaign of support for Palestine, the protest was held to remind people of the oppression suffered by the people of Palestine, at the hands of the Israeli state and to call upon everyone to send a message of support and solidarity to the Palestinian people by engaging in a wide-spread consumer boycott of all Israeli goods.

The Letterkenny event held by éirígí Tir Chonaill was one of a series of protests, held throughout the country on Saturday, as part of a national day of action called for by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) against Israel. Protests and actions were also carried out in Belfast, Dublin, Arklow and Cork. Banners, calling for the boycott, were erected by éirígí activists in Sligo, Dublin and throughout County Donegal. The protest was attended by people of all ages and was received well by the general public in the towns main street. Hundreds of leaflets were distributed to the public and passing drivers, Palestinian flags flew and banners and posters reading "Boycott All Israeli Goods" and "Free Palestine Free Gaza" were on display.

Speaking after the event éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson Micheál MacGiolla Easbuig said: “We organised this demonstration in Letterkenny along with the erection of the large banners to not just extend solidarity with the Palestinian people, specifically those suffering immense hardship within Gaza, but to also support the demand for a boycott of Israeli goods. It is important that we make people aware of the practical measures which we all can take against the Israeli state. Israel continues its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the building of its illegal annexation wall. The inhumane siege of Gaza continues as the civilian population, particularly children and the elderly, increasingly struggle to get food and essential medicines to survive. ”

He continued: “The Israeli military continue to carry out military attacks on both Gaza and the West Bank, killing Palestinians, destroying the remnants of an already obliterated infrastructure and economy and carried out countless war crimes during last years murderous assault on Gaza. Despite all of this, the EU have refused to take action against Israel to defend the Palestinian people or to end the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza. Rather than cutting all ties with Israel, imposing sanctions on them and seeking to bring to justice those responsible for the war crimes committed against the Palestinian people, Israel has once again been shamefully allowed to retain favoured trading status with the EU. The EU are effectively bankrolling the Israeli terror regime and are complicit in Israel's war crimes and human rights abuses.”

He concluded: “We must now initiate an all-out boycott of Israeli business and produce as we did with South African goods in the 1980's. As consumers we must check the country of origin of all goods we buy and refuse to buy any that originate in Israel. We must also put pressure on retailers to refuse to stock any Israeli goods. These are simple practical measures that we can all take to oppose the continued occupation of Palestine and to support the Palestinian people's right to justice and freedom. It's long past time we made Ireland an Israeli-free zone.”

No comments:

Post a Comment