Holly Cairns TD

The Social Democrats will bring a motion before the Dáil next week (Wednesday, November 15) calling on the Government to withdraw diplomatic status from the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland and push for the imposition of EU-wide economic sanctions on Israel.

Party leader Holly Cairns said:

“The permissive and ambivalent reaction by the international community to the litany of war crimes and flagrant breaches of international law by Israel has been shameful.

“Israel’s cruel and disproportionate response to the barbaric October 7 attacks by Hamas has, to date, seen more than 11,000 people killed in Gaza – over 5,000 of them children – and resulted in the collective punishment and mass displacement of millions of innocent civilians.

“Our motion calls on the Irish Government to lobby for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the grounds that the human rights clause in the trade deal has been seriously breached. The EU should also suspend Israel’s access to the €95 billion Horizon Europe fund for research and innovation.

“Given Israel’s failure to cease the deliberate targeting of civilians, journalists, UN staff and healthcare workers, the Government must withdraw the diplomatic status of the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland.

“A referral should also be made to the International Criminal Court requesting that it investigate whether members of the Israeli government and military have committed war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Gaza.

“There is more that can be done in this country to sanction Israel for its massacre of Palestinian civilians. As a matter of urgency, the Government should enact the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 and the illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill 2023.

“Ireland has been among a small number of Western nations to unequivocally condemn the daily atrocities being carried out in Gaza by Israel’s armed forces. However, words alone are not enough to convey our horror and outrage at the death and devastation being wrought by the Israeli government.

“The Government must intensify its advocacy for an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages. It is also essential that Ireland provides strong leadership at EU level and advocates for economic sanctions on Israel until it ends the carnage in Gaza and complies with international law.”

“The Government should also pursue all possible avenues at the EU and the UN to build an international alliance for peace to provide a pathway away from violence and back to the negotiation table. The Palestinian and Israeli people need a political, not military solution to this crisis.”

NOTE: Full text of Private Members’ Motion here

November 10, 2023

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