Senator Bacik Underlines Labour Commitment to the Palestinian Cause
15 May 2020
Senator Ivana Bacik has marked 15th May (Nakba Day) 2020 by underlining the Labour Party’s ongoing commitment to supporting the cause of the Palestinian people, saying:
“The Labour Party has a proud record of defending the human rights of Palestinian people. In the last Seanad, we Labour Senators strongly supported the recognition of Palestinian statehood and in supporting Senator Frances Black’s Occupied Territories Bill, which would ban the importation and sale of goods from illegal settlements. We will continue working with Senator Black and others to support its progression when the Seanad resumes, as well as supporting other peaceful initiatives to oppose illegal settlements.
“In 2011, as Labour Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore expressed Ireland’s support for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. Nearly a decade after this historic address, little progress towards peace has been made and divisions have regrettably become more entrenched than ever.
“Reports that a coalition deal agreed in Israel by Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz may include plans to annex large portions of the West Bank are extremely troubling. This proposal, if implemented, would be in breach of international law and would undermine prospects of a resolution to the deadly conflict in the region.
“I welcome Ireland’s support for the French initiative to impose economic sanctions on Israel if it proceeds with the annexation. Furthermore, I have written to the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to communicate my support for this position and to urge the Government to continue to reinforce it at an international level.
“The need for a genuine dialogue for peace between Israel and Palestine is more pressing than ever. The danger to human health posed by overcrowding in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Israeli blockades impede the flow of vital medical equipment, personnel and humanitarian aid.
“Nakba Day is a time to commemorate those who have been displaced or killed as a result of conflict, but it is also a day when we remember the urgent need to work towards achieving peace in the region by peaceful means.”