Irish Republican News · December 13, 2014
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sinn Fein hails recognition for Palestine


The Dublin parliament has become the latest in Europe to call on its governments to recognise an independent state of Palestine after a motion by Sinn Fein was passed unanimously.

In response, the Israeli foreign ministry accused the parliament of giving voice to “statements of hatred and antisemitism directed at Israel in a way which we have not heard before”.

In October, Sweden became the first western EU member state to recognise Palestinian statehood. Eastern European EU members recognised it years before they joined the EU in 2004.

Subsequent parliamentary votes in Britain, France and Spain calling on their governments to follow Sweden have not meant instant diplomatic change. In Britain, Tory leader David Cameron has insisted that negotiations must precede recognition.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said that the Irish vote meant that both houses of the Dublin parliament now supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; the recognition of a Palestinian state and sovereignty for the Palestinian people.

“This is a substantial and positive development which means that we are a significant part of the consensus for peace and progress in the Middle East,” he said.

“It also means that we are standing with progressive Israeli opinion which wants a lasting peace arrangement with the Palestinian people.

“I have long argued that we as a colonised people with a history of resistance and a peace process could play a leadership role in the search for peace in the Middle East,” he told TDs.

“This is the correct stand for Ireland. It is the moral stand.”

However, Palestinian campaigners said the motion for recognition does not go far enough, and could entrench the existing partition of Palestinians into Gaza and the West Bank.

Mr Adams, who travelled to the region last week, said Israeli assault during this summer was “even more shocking” than that of five years ago, with 2,200 Palestinians killed, including 500 children.

He said he had visited the ‘separation wall’ constructed by Israel around a Palestinian area, and described it as “an obscenity”. He said it had been a constant oppressive presence.

“In a landscape of walls the Separation Wall is different. It is a scar on the land and conscience of Israel and of the international community. It stretches for 700 kilometres.

“It is a multi-layered, often 60 metre wide exclusion zone with a concrete wall eight metres high.It snakes up and down hills, alongside motorways, down the middle of streets and through Palestinian communities. It prevents Palestinian farmers from getting to their farmland.

“It captures within its boundary Palestinian land that is then annexed by the Israeli government. It is all about control.”

Mr Adams said Ireland must stand with the Palestinian and Israeli citizens who want peace and who are taking risks for peace.

“The passing of this motion is an important contribution to this. The Irish government should now use our success with the Irish peace process to take up a leadership role in pushing for greater action by the international community.

“It should also follow the logic of this motion and upgrade the Palestinian Mission to that of a full Embassy.”

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