Gary Gannon TD

At tomorrow’s emergency summit of European leaders, the Taoiseach must condemn EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s decision to offer unqualified support to Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Gaza, according to Social Democrats foreign affairs spokesperson Gary Gannon.

Deputy Gannon said:

“On Friday, Ursula von der Leyen had a valuable opportunity to make a positive intervention in this unfolding humanitarian catastrophe. However, instead of reminding Israel that it must adhere to international law in its response to Hamas’ barbaric attack, she offered her unqualified support to Israel.

“Given that Israel has been engaged in the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza – and had demanded that one million citizens relocate to the south of the region prior to Ms von der Leyen’s visit – this amounted to unqualified support for war crimes and ethnic cleansing.

“It is unconscionable that Ms von der Leyen did not use her visit to Israel to appeal for restraint and adherence to international human rights law. In fact, she has yet to utter a single word of even tepid criticism for Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza.

“Her failure to unequivocally condemn the collective punishment of the Palestinian people, through mass displacement and the indiscriminate bombing of civilian infrastructure, has undermined the EU’s response to this crisis.

“Given that Ms von der Leyen has no authority to usurp member states’ foreign policy positions, her comments also amounted to an egregious overreach of her authority.

“At Tuesday’s virtual emergency summit, the Taoiseach must condemn the EU Commission President’s stance in the strongest possible terms.”

October 16, 2023

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