“Praise Ireland”

Pray for them

The Seanad Eireann (Senate of Ireland) is the upper house of the Irish legislature. The senators are not directly elected but consists of members nominated through a plethora of methods. Why am I referring to the Senate of Ireland when I am writing my weekly chronicle on the Palestinians?

Simply because the Seanad has made history … It is the first legislature in the European Union to have voted in favour of a ban on all importing food originating from illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. Take note of the name of the following bill: Occupied Territories (Settlement Goods) Bill on Wednesday 11th July 2018. The bill was introduced by Senator Frances Black. The aim of this historical bill is that it would prohibit trade between Ireland and the illegal settlements by the Israelis. Illegal settlements as per international law. The bill won the day by 25 votes to 20 votes. Senators from Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin (very close former Irish Republican army and whose leader, Gerry Adams despite elected to sit in the House of Commons has always refused to do so for political and ethical reasons) and Labour Party with the support of independent senators voted in favour of it.

Senator Frances Black welcomed the “historic vote” and that she was delighted with the outcome.

According to the “Irish examiner” of 11th of July 2018, Senator Frances Black said:

“The level of support is a testament to the fact that this is not a radical ask – we are simply saying that, if we are sure that certain goods have been produced as a result of war crimes, we should not be trading in them”. How sensical! I wonder if there are politicians in the Arab World who will act by conviction. “War crimes”: how true Israel has been killing a lot through snipers recently and yet the whole world is doing what Pilate has done to Jesus 2000 years ago.

Senator Frances Black added: “To me that is the bare minimum that we should be expected of an EU member state and a country proudly committed to Justice and Human Rights. Otherwise there is a clear hypocrisy – how can we condemn the settlements as illegal, as theft of land and resources, but happily trade in the proceeds of this crime?”

One caveat:

The bill does not ban all Israeli products. The bill bans only goods produced in illegal settlements in occupied territories including Israeli settlements in the Palestinian “West Bank”.

Ted Tynan of Workers Party said: “Our country … is quick often too quick … to endorse damaging sanctions when called for by the United States, in places like Russia. The ban on Israeli settlements goods is far more modest, and far more greatly needed. There is no justification now for Fine Gael opposing it”.

Fine Gael is currently the governing and largest political party in Ireland. It is a conservative and Christian democratic political party.

On Friday 13th of July 2018, the Israeli defence minister Avigdor Liberman has – without any  surprise- called for the immediate closure of its Dublin embassy. The Israeli government is scared that should the bill be passed into law it would make Ireland the European country to enforce an effective boycott.

The defence minister of Israel said, “we won’t turn the other cheek to a country which boycotts us”.

I must not forget to tell you that one of my favourites singer Roger Waters (another brick in the wall … does it not ring any bell?) has at the beginning of the month urged support for the Frances Black motion. Roger Waters has always been consistent in fighting injustice. He said the illegal settlements were a war crime.

Will other politicians worldwide follow Senator Frances Black …

Hope and pray ….

Rama Valayden