Éirígí Calls for Action on Israel
Éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson, Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, has called on the EU to halt it's association with Israel in light of the recent vote in the European Parliament to support the UN Goldstone Report on Gaza. One of those who has voted in favour of the report is local MEP Pat The Cope Gallagher.
The report, by Justice Richard Goldstone on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, was compiled in the aftermath of the military assault by Israel on Gaza in early 2009 and was heavily critical of the actions of Israel during the conflict. In the report, Goldstone concluded that Israel committed "grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of wilful killings and wilfully causing great suffering to protected persons," war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.
Mac Giolla Easbuig said "The fact that the European Parliament has voted in support of such a report goes to show the revulsion that is felt, by so many, of the brutal actions meted out by the Israeli state on the Palestinian people, both in Gaza and the West Bank. This week, the the Council for the EU will be discussing the up-grading of the EU-Israel Association Agreement (EUIAA) and we in éirígí are calling on the EU to halt this in light of the recent vote that was taken by the European Parliament."
"The EU-Israel Association Agreement promotes strong business, trade and cultural links between the EU and Israel and an up-grade to 'special status' will make these links even stronger, eventually giving Israel the chance of more input in EU policies and more access to EU money. This just will not be acceptable. Currently Israel is no more than a rouge state. Its in clear breach of a list of UN Security Council resolutions, the Forth Geneva Convention and rulings from the International Court of Justice. Its even in breach of the regulations of the EU-Israel Association Agreement set up for Israels benefit. Its a nuclear power in violation of international law and shouldn't be rewarded for its continuing illegal occupation in Palestine."
Likening Israel to to the once Apartheid South Africa, Mac Giolla Easbuig continued by saying widespread sanctions should be placed on Israel. "The conditions which the Palestinian people endure under the Israeli occupation are as bad as that which the people of South Africa lived under during the Apartheid Regime. Economic, cultural and sporting boycotts done much to bring that regime to an end and similar actions could go a long way to bring the Israeli states brutality to an end. Rather than aiding and abetting Israel in its crimes the EU should place economic sanctions upon it for the wrongs it continues to perpetrate in the middle east."
Mac Giolla Easbuig concluded by saying, "The current Twenty-Six County government have their part to play in this also. They should be actively calling on Israel to desist from its many crimes, instead of backing them by trading with them in deals, such as the purchasing of millions of euros worth of bullets from Israeli Military Industries, a deal which they are currently considering."
"At the up-coming EUIAA meeting, the Twenty-Six Counties will be represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and given Israels track record and its continuing occupation of Palestine and blockade of Gaza, I'm calling on the government to insist that this agreement isn't up-graded, but rather scrapped altogether. I would also ask that those who represent the Twenty-Six Counties in the European Parliament, such as Pat The Cope Gallagher, work harder to insure that Israel is brought to book and that the Irish people who they represent are not mis-represented by being made complicit in Israels many crimes."