Ireland has been expressing its outrage at the war crimes of the Israeli authorities and the increasingly genocidal slaughter of innocent civilians in Gaza.
Protests are being heard at the highest levels of Irish society, but have so far failed to draw a significant response from the Dublin government.
A minimal statement by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar calling for a “humanitarian” ceasefire was followed on Wednesday night by a debate at the Dublin parliament leading to a relatively weak motion also calling for peace.
A demonstration took place outside Leinster House in solidarity with the Palestinian people as Irish TDs stopped short of calling for an explicit condemnation of Israel.
Thousands who marched in Dublin at the weekend in support of Palestine are set to return next weekend to hear condemnations of the dilute position adopted by the Irish government.
There has also been anger at the one-sided response of the EU, the USA and other international powers and the general failure of the international community to intervene to end an Israeli bombing campaign estimated to have already claimed the lives of 5,000 innocent Palestinians.
But there has been strong support for Irish President Michael D Higgins, who blasted EU leaders such as Ursula von der Leyen for their ‘thoughtless and reckless’ approach in support of Israeli war crimes.
President Higgins said that von der Leyen was “not speaking for Ireland and she wasn’t speaking for the opinions that they hold”.
He said: “To announce in advance that you will break international law and to do so on an innocent population, it reduces all the code that was there from second world war on protection of civilians and it reduces it to tatters.”
The continuing annihilation by Israel of the population of 2.3m Palestinians in the sealed Gaza enclave has so far seen over 10,000 bombs rain down on an area half the size of Louth, Ireland’s smallest county, in less than two weeks.
A population of more than one million have now been ordered to travel to the south of the Gaza Strip. Hundreds have died en route amid a barrage of high powered Israel missiles on the roads leading south.
The expulsion has been compared to the ‘To Hell Or to Connacht’ drive by Oliver Cromwell, in the British militarist’s pogrom against the Irish population in the 17th century.
Irish human rights groups have been unable to mount relief efforts in Gaza as dozens of international aid workers have already been killed and injured in the continuous bombing.
The latest attacks saw hundreds killed in missile attacks on a hospital and a mosque amid an unprecedented Israeli disinformation campaign to escape responsibility for its crimes. With few exceptions, western governments have chosen to accept the propaganda for their own selfish political and economic purposes.
Irish republicans and socialists joined more than 20,000 people who marched around Ireland last weekend as part of a global movement to show solidarity and to oppose plans for a devastating Israeli ground offensive in Gaza.
In a statement, republican prisoners at Maghaberry, Hydebank and Portlaoise pledged their “ongoing support” for Palestine and the Palestinian cause of freedom.
“The outcry of support across Ireland and around the world is a beacon for the Palestinian cause,” they said.
“We would also like to remind those who are vocal about the illegal occupation of Palestine that at home we still face the same occupation by an illegal force.
“Today the British establishment still acts as an aggressor in the face of the Irish people, we call upon those who robustly oppose Israel to also make a stand against the British occupation of Ireland. The Palestinian people have shown that no matter how much the odds are stacked against you, the will to be free can never be overcome.”
A group of families of those massacred by the British Army in Derry said they were “staggered beyond belief” at at a post on social media from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claiming that the initial attacks on Israel from Gaza were “their Bloody Sunday.”
“The hypocrisy of a brutal state force comparing themselves to the innocent of Bloody Sunday will dismay Derry people,” they said.
“This is beyond outrageous - to have the memory of our innocent dead sullied by the apartheid forces of the Israeli State will cause deep hurt and anger in Derry.
“The IDF commit Bloody Sunday type massacres every day of the week in Occupied Palestine. Just like in Derry their killers operate with impunity and Palestinians receive no justice.”
Sinn Féin has called on the international community to commit “to peace, justice, and self-determination”.
“To stop the cycle of violence, we need ceasefires, the renewal of dialogue, and the rigorous enforcement of international law equally for all. We need to see an end to the occupation and an end to Israel’s apartheid regime that violates the rights of Palestinians,” they said in a statement.
However the party has faced condemnation by People before Profit and the Social Democrats for refusing to back parliamentary votes for sanctions against Israel or the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.
The party’s Dáil stance runs contrary to the expressed positions of its youth wing and senior figures such as MP Chris Hazzard and former MEP Martina Anderson.
Saoradh has also condemned efforts by Sinn Féin to convince Palestinians to end their support for resistance to the Israeli forces.
“They have demanded that over 2 million Palestinians living in a 25 square mile open air prison cease to resist,” said Belfast republican Dee Fennell.
“That these Palestinians in Gaza should accept the continued denial of basic human rights such as food, water, electricity, even shelter without putting up any resistance.
“They have the utter cheek to tell a people that have suffered immeasurably over the last 75 years, a suffering that has intensified over the last three decades since the Oslo Agreement.... to sit down, shut up and take it.”
Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday night, People before Profit also defended the right of Palestinians to armed resistance.
“The Israeli regime,” said Richard Boyd-Barrett, “is not a legitimate actor. It is a terrorist regime … The war crimes and the barbarism that Israel is now inflicting on Gaza are not the exception in the state of Israel, they are the rule.”
Sinn Féin foreign affairs spokesman Matt Carthy asked “why we never hear of Palestine’s right to defend itself”. An amendment put forward by the party to explicitly condemn Israel for its “brutal assault” on Gaza was opposed by the government parties and did not pass.
But in her contribution, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald endorsed the pacifist approach.
Irish history “speaks powerfully to us. It calls on us to speak out, to act in defence of Palestine and to act for freedom and self-determination,” she said.
“It also tells us that Ireland can and must be a leading voice for dialogue, a just settlement, ceasefires and peace...
“We in Ireland know all too well the pain and tragedy of colonisation, occupation and dispossession. We have known conflict and suffering. We have known war. We know peace.
“There is no excuse and no pretence that we do not understand the playbook of the coloniser, the occupier and the oppressor.”