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Source link : https://info-blog.org/europe/ireland/dublin-city-hall-flies-the-palestinian-flag-nb-media-co-op/

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, has recently been flying the Palestinian flag over its city hall. Unlike the situation in Miramichi, this has caused no controversy.

The Irish public has widely condemned the Israeli civilian bombing of Palestine. It is fair to say that ‘the street’ in Ireland as well as the broad spectrum of political opinion is very sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Irish people support the anti-colonial struggle of the Palestinians because they experienced a similar struggle themselves against an oppressive British Empire.

The history of Ireland-Palestine relations reflects this high level of support for the Palestinian cause, which is unique in the European Union.

Going back to the aftermath of the Six-Day war in 1967 when the fate of Palestinian refugees was ‘the main and most pressing objective of Ireland’s Middle East policy,’ Ireland has been a consistent supporter of Palestine both at the United Nations and in Europe.

In 1980, Ireland was the first European country to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Irish political leaders met many times with Yasser Arafat, the then-PLO leader who visited Ireland on more than one occasion. In 2000, Ireland established a representative office in Ramallah, and Palestine established a similar office in Dublin at the same time.

In January 2011, Ireland accorded the Palestinian delegation formal diplomatic status. And in 2014 both houses of the Irish parliament passed motions calling on the government to recognize the State of Palestine. But, to date, the government has failed to follow up on this, stating that it is waiting ‘until the Palestinian Authority has full control over its territories’ which seems a lame enough excuse.

Part of the problem, it seems, is that Ireland wants to act in concert with other European Union countries. Given divisions in Europe on the issue, this will be a long wait.

Sympathies have been expressed in other ways. In 2018, the Irish parliament passed the Occupied Territories Bill, banning all goods and services originating in the illegal settlements on the West Bank. However, this bill got lost in the haggling over forming a coalition government. Again, a lot of good intentions and somewhat less action.

The present genocide in Palestine has seen widespread condemnation in Ireland both from government and opposition. Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sinn Féin, the largest political party in Ireland, has said that ‘to suggest that Israel is simply defending itself is an obscenity.’ There have been calls to expel the Israeli ambassador.

In Europe, Ireland has demonstrated the most forceful support of Palestine during the current conflict. However the majority in Ireland would support a more robust government approach.

And in fact the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has just stated in Brussels at an EU gathering that the West and Europe has lost all credibility in the Global South and amongst young people with their stance on Gaza and Palestine.

There is a long-standing connection between Miramichi and Ireland because of the history of Irish immigration to that area. But unlike Miramichi, Dublin has retained its understanding of the reality of colonization.

Gerry McAlister (MA in Modern Irish History) lives in Fredericton.

Source link : https://nbmediacoop.org/2023/12/15/dublin-city-hall-flies-the-palestinian-flag-commentary/

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Publish date : 2023-12-15 03:00:00

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Author : info-blog

Publish date : 2024-06-17 02:07:24

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